A better Facebook with lists

Facebook’s Newsfeed is a nuisance. I just can’t stand the fact that some computer algorithm decides what I get to see there, and what’s omitted and stays hidden from me. Have you ever asked a friend “didn’t you see my post on Facebook?” and when they say “No” it was probably not because they didn’t pay attention, but because Facebook simply didn’t show your post to them in their Newsfeed. :-/

And it’s even worse when you’re following Pages – because Facebook wants page admins to pay when they want to reach their audience. Yes, it’s bat shit crazy: as a page owner, you won’t reach people that said “I want to see your posts in my Newsfeed” (by Liking your page) if you don’t pay. Extortion? Desperation? I don’t know. But I do know that it sucks.

As a user, I have an interest in reading what I actually want to read, and as a Page owner*, I want to help other people to get this better experience too, so that they see the posts that I make from my page!

Hence this post. The cure is called Friends Lists. Note: not Interest Lists! Those are different from Friends Lists, as they can only be used for Reading, but not for sharing. More on that later, below.

So, here we go. I’ve created a bunch of screenshots with captions and descriptions to guide you through the process of creating a new Friends List, adding it to your Favorites, and adding people to it. It’s really simple. Here’s the gallery, click on the first image to start the slideshow, where you’ll see the descriptions:

You can see in the screenshots that I already have a fair number of custom friends lists. The advantage of these is: you can use them for sharing as well! I have a list “EN” for all the English speaking friends, and another list “DE” for all my friends who speak German – if I post a status update in German, I simply select to share it with my “DE” list – and my English speaking friends don’t see a foreign language post which would most likely only be annoying “noise” to them.

You can add both people and pages to these custom lists. In order to add Facebook Pages, you must “Like” them first. You can see a list “Photography” in my screenshots. That’s the list I’m using to read posts from photographers, and photography related pages. I have not added these to my normal “Reading” list (which is called “All” in the screenshots), but read these posts separately. Very nice for selective reading. I catch up with my friends in the “All” list first, and only when I feel like it and have the time, I also read my “Photography” list.

If you have added a friend or page to your custom list accidentally, or want to remove a noisy oversharer from your list (well, we all have that type of friends, do we?;-) simply click on the small “down” arrow   \/    near the top of one of their posts, to the left, and then select “Remove <name> from list” from the little dropdown menu.

And that’s it. Access your list directly by bookmarking it, and you’ll get to see what you want to see, and not what Facebook thinks you should see!

Any questions? Drop me a comment.


*) I’m not a page owner anymore. I had enough of Facebook’s silly limitation of my post’s reach. Read here: “Thanks but no thanks, Facebook.

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