New Facebook Tool Sorts Friends into Lists

September 14, 2011

Facebook announced on Tuesday a new application that automatically puts your “friends” into lists, such as in categories of work, school, and family, aimed at making it easier to sort and share content to targeted audiences. 

While Facebook has had a Friend Lists tool for a while, the tool has been revamped to be easier to use by automatically creating on your behalf “smart lists” of your coworkers, family, and people who live near you. You can also assign your connections to lists of “close friends” -- in which posts will appear more frequently in your news feeds -- or “acquaintances,” whose posts will appear less often. (Close friends and acquaintances will need to be sorted manually.). 

Facebook also added a "restricted" list, which some of your connections will only get to see your public posts. 

The new feature comes at a time when Facebook faces growing competition from Google+, which centers on “circles” that allow you to sort connections into different groups. 

"The more you can make your life on Facebook organized into different spheres of your life without a huge amount of work on your part, the more useful it becomes," Charlene Li, a partner with the Altimeter Group, told The Wall Street Journal.

Source: “Facebook to Organize Friends into Lists,” The Wall Street Journal (Sept. 13, 2011)

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