Facebook starts out as a great way to keep up with friends and family. As time goes, though, it gets harder and harder to see the important stuff through the posts from not-really-friend “friends,” ads, game notifications, shared articles, inspirational messages and more that clutter up your News Feed.
Facebook does its best to figure out what you want to see, but it still gets it wrong a lot. In the past, we’ve told you some ways to take more control, but most of those suggestions are how to bring what you want to see to the top of the clutter. What if you could get a News Feed that was only friends, groups and pages you cared about?
One way to do this is using lists. Facebook has the option to create lists of friends so you only see their posts. You can also create a list of interests, which can combine certain friends, pages and groups into one spot.
We’re going to cover how to create both, along with some other tips for getting the News Feed you want. Stick with us and in just a few minutes you can make using Facebook a whole lot better.
Facebook lets you make lists of friends, such as Close Friends, Co-Workers, Family, etc. Once you have a list created, you can click on it in the left column under “Friends” and only see posts from those people.
To create a list, go to your Facebook page and in the left column click the “Friends” heading. In the upper-right corner, click the “Create List” button. Name your list and then start typing names of friends you want to be on the list.
Facebook will try to guess what friend’s name you’re typing. Either press Enter to confirm that it found the friend you wanted, or use the mouse to select the friend you meant. When you’re done, click the “Create” button, and you’ll see just the posts from the people on your list.
You might notice that Facebook creates a few lists for you automatically like Family and Close Friends. To edit those lists, or any other list you’ve created, go to the left column in Facebook and click the Friends heading. Click on the list you want to edit, and then in the upper-right corn click the “Manage List” button and select “Edit list.”
To remove someone from a list, hover over their picture and click the X that appears. To add a friend, click where it says “On This List” in the upper-left corner and change it to “Friends.” Then click on a friend’s name or type their name in to search. When you’re done, click “Finish.”
Even if you don’t want to use lists to replace your News Feed, there are some benefits to using them. For example, you’ll want to make sure your best friends are on your Close Friends list. That way, Facebook knows to show you more posts from them in your News Feed.
If you don’t need to stay in frequent touch with a friend – or just want to see less of them in your News Feed – add them to your Acquaintances list. Now their updates will rarely show up in your news feed.
If you click the “Friends” header to see your full list of lists, you’ll see a Restricted list. The Restricted list is for people you’ve added as Facebook friends, but with whom you don’t want to share everything you post.
Maybe you accepted a friend request from your boss, for example. Put him on your Restricted list and he’ll only be able to see your public posts, or posts you tag him in. It’s the next best thing to just unfriending someone.
A friend list is fine if you only want to see posts from certain friends. However, you might also want to see posts from your pages, such as facebook.com/kimkomando. For that, you can create an interest list.
On your Facebook page, scroll down the left-hand column to find the “Interests” header. Click on it and then click the “Add Interests” button in the top right corner. You can load up other people’s public lists that might interest you, or click “Create List” to make your own.
You’ll be able to select from your liked pages, friends, and even go looking for pages in other topics like art, food, games, music, news, technology and more. You can quickly create an interest list devoted to pages on a topic like technology. Maybe you want one geared toward pages about politics with posts from your more political friends.
When you’ve selected what your list contains, click the “Next” button. You can then name the list and choose who can see it. In most cases you’ll want to select “Only Me,” unless you’d like to share the list with your friends. If you’ve created what you think is a particularly good collection of pages, you can make it public for anyone to find. Make sure you aren’t accidentally sharing things on Facebook you don’t mean to.
To finish up, click “Done.” To load up your list, look under “Interests” in the left-hand column of your Facebook page and click on the list you created.
A BONUS TRICK TO USING LISTS
To make finding your lists easier, hover over the lists you use most often and click the gear icon to the left, and then select “Add to Favorites.” You’ll now find the list under your Favorites in the left-hand column.
You can also load up a list and create a bookmark of that page. Then just click the bookmark to load up that page later. If you want, you can even make that list your home page when the browser starts.