Facebook really wants you to start using the list feature to organize your friends. It wants you to use it so badly that it's rolling out another feature to remind you that the option is there and hopefully prompt you to finally begin sorting your friends.
The option to create lists and therefore filter your friends has been around for a while. Facebook has been subtly creating lists for people, such as a list for family or acquaintances or people who attended the same school as you. Additionally, users can also create their own lists if those generic groupings are simply too unsatisfying.
Last night, though, I noticed a new box appearing at the top of my newsfeed:
The notice to create a list of starred/close friends isn't appearing for everybody just yet; at least, I was the only one in my office this morning who was seeing the above notification. Essentially, it's a simple notice that Facebook is prompting users to utilize so as to remind them that they can control who sees their updates and whose updates they see. As you may have noticed, too, Facebook directly says that your friends won't know if you've starred them. But then again, your friends never know when they've been added to any of your lists.
Once you've added some people to your list of stars, Facebook will prompt you with a welcome message.
From there, if you're feeling so bold and curious, you can click the 'Learn More' link to open up another pop-up box that will explain to you the difference between the series of lists that you can currently use for your friends.
And of course, once you've established your list of the brightest stars in your Facebook sky, the list will appear as an audience option when you're making an update to your Timeline.
Choosing the Close Friends option, only the friends you've chosen to include in that list will see your update.
The list feature is an easy way to winnow down the list of Facebook friends you don't really care to hear from by limiting the updates you see in your news feed to only display your personal all-stars (or family members or coworkers or whatever the function of your list is). While that can be simply irksome, the greater value of using lists is how it gives you control over who sees your own updates.
Again, this isn't really a new feature by any means but it does indicate that Facebook wants its users to become more proactive with protecting their own privacy. Well, what little you've got left, anyways.
This caps off a busy week for Facebook upgrades. Yesterday, the site started rolling out promoted posts for Pages and will soon be permitting advertisers to purchase ads directly from the site's power editor. A counter-productive update, though: Facebook still hasn't resolved the issue of businesses not being able to post links, although that probably isn't intentional.