Facebook Makes Friend Organization Easier

By: Chris Crum - May 1, 2009

If you go to Facebook.com/friends, you can create friend lists on Facebook and organize your friends into different categories. This is good for organization, privacy, and for simply controlling what you see on your home page. This clip pretty much explains what it’s all about:

You can separate your co-workers from your family and your best friends from the people you went to high school with but don’t really stay in touch with anymore. Luckily nobody can see your lists besides you, so you don’t have to worry about someone who thinks you’re their friend finding out that you really just view them as some guy from high school.

Since the redesign of Facebook, there has been a virtual flood of information running through the stream. Putting your friends into lists can help you organize all of this information. It has not been incredibly easy for people to figure out how to utilize these controls, so Facebook is making it easier.

"But something else really interesting that Facebook is doing is that it is now auto-populating some lists for you, if you don’t have any," notes MG Siegler. "It’s doing this by using the details you entered when you confirmed a friendship with someone — the “How do you know this person?” question. This auto-generation of lists will no doubt spur more usage of them and will hopefully help less savvy users figure out how to use them to make the site more manageable."

If you go to the link that says +Create in the left-hand menu on your home page, you can create a new Friends list. Your lists will appear in that menu as you create them.

Chris Crum

About the Author

Chris CrumChris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

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  • Matt Packwood

    Confusing, badly thought out, abort this and go back to the previous set-up….

    • Nathan

      Come on Chris… whats the purpose of a facebook profile if NO ONE SEES WHEN YOUR PROFILE IS UPDATED!!! Essentially they’ve turned the site into a convoluted message board and destroyed the elements that made it a true social network- namely of being able to easily see friends and the changes going on in their lives. Now you have to go to an individuals profile to get information on relationship status changes, contact and job changes, and profile picture changes. This is too difficult for the Web 2.0 world.

      The friends page itself is rendered useless. Once users assign friends to lists, then why visit that page? No, facebook is pushing more users to the brink with this move. Once a viable alternative arrives, maybe even a partner with twitter, facebook is done. Google would be smart to begin planning a revamp of orkut.

      • Chris Crum

        Unless I’m missing something, you can still view the news feed like normal. You only view friend lists if you want to. If I just want to see what my family’s up to, I can just switch to my family list without having to wade through a bunch of links posted by other friends.

        • Nathan

          The news feed (as redesigned the last time facebook decided to piss off its users) no longer shows profile picture updates, contact status updates, employment updates, or network updates. The most you get are wall-to-wall posts, status messages, pictures, and those ever-cluttering quizes. For most facebook users, recent status and recent updated were the bread and butter of that website. It provided a quick glance at what everyone was doing and gave you an instant glance (minus the normal clutter of the news feed) of any major changes to peoples profile.

          Even organizing friends into lists and filtering the news feed does not tell me who got engaged or broke up, who left their job, or what. Instead I have to rely on highlights, which are picked at random and do not always show who I care to see (even with the added filter). In fact, these lists that are so radically new have existed for quite some time. Facebook added nothing, instead it took away a service. A quick look at the blog post announcement made by facebook shows well over 2000 angry vocal posts about this redesign. People don’t much like when an extra step is added to see if their friend got a new phone number or changed their profile picture.

          Also, once you’ve listed all your friends, why would you ever go back to the “friend” tab? I expect another 300,000 person vote application to float around soon, with facebookers pissed off with the removal of our favorite feature tallying up our votes to once again be ignored by the website. Peoples reason for consistently browsing the site has been taken away… the networking element is gone now. Now it is just a board for posting pictures and status messages with the quiz to keep people entertained. It’s a step backward from trying to keep people as in touch as possible. If I didn’t use facebook chat so often, I’d never actually visit the site after these changes.

          However, as I stated earlier, I don’t have much faith in Facebook listening to their users.

          • Chris Crum

            Ah, I see.. you’re talking about the redesign…I’m not going to get into a debate about that. I was referring more to the friends lists features in relation to how it already was (post redesign)…it’s just made the news feed easier to organize.

  • Corey

    Before the change, I could click on “Friends” and I would see the status updates of my friends. Now, that page is simply a place for me to find other friends on Facebook. I don’t like this change.

    • Guest

      I agree. I liked that page to skim status updates or photo additions. I don’t like this change either.

  • http://officialsafetyandsecurity.com Official Safety and Security

    I’ve been using this feature form some time now as I friend people to socially market my safety and security web site. It makes it easier to know which people to send information to when I’m having a sale or a special price on an item. Thanks, Chris, for sharing this information.

  • Kim Jackson

    I dont like it either ,it just i cant see now the changes in my friends profile at all.pls change it

  • http://www.be2.net Online Dating | be2.net

    I checked it as of last Thursday and did find an issue. If you do a search for a specific friend from your list, the result does not display the delete option. Basically, you can remove that friend from your existing list. Might’ve been me, but then again, who knows.

  • http://www.dogseizures.net Sam@dogseizures.net

    More facebook users don’t want this new look. It seems like they patterned it in a messenger feature but it isn’t effective to attract users.