Facebook Lists - or Are You Just Drinking Out of the Firehose?

Education & Training with Tech Training for You!

If you have joined Google+, you'll know what circles are. It is a way to group your friends-family-associates into groups. When you post something, you can share with the world ("public") or you can limit who you share with by applying only to a circle.  Inversely, if it feels like you have subscribed to SO MANY people and you look at your main feed, it is like drinking water out of a fire hose, then circles are also great. You can say filter (OR LIMIT) the newsfeed to only show posts from a particular circle. For me, circles include groups like "Tech" or "Real Estate" or "Photography" and so on.

Facebook has been able to do this type of useful "share with limited" and "show limited" types of modes also, but the user interface is poorly designed (inserting my opinion). It is not obvious and intuitive enough. They have made it slightly better since Google+ came along, but it still is not great in user friendliness yet. Thus, let me take you on a quick tour to highlight some things. Once you see it, it will make MUCH MORE SENSE. :)

First, notice on the left sidebar, you have a Friends section. Hover your mouse there, what do you see? A LINK that says "more"

So unless you stumble upon that link or have somebody show you, this is missed!

Once you go to "MORE" you can then see lists! You see the default lists, plus you add your own custom lists by clicking on the "Create List" button at the top.

On the lists page, you also have a pencil icon next to each list. This will only give you the options to delete a list or add it to your favorites. If you want to manage who is on the list, you need to click on the name of a specific list to go to the feed page for that list.

As you can see below, on a list page, the upper right of the page is a "Manage List" button (then choose the "Edit List" option). When you do that, a pop-up window appears. At the top of the pop-up, choose "Friends" to display and then you can go through your entire friends list to click to add new people into the group. (This is MUCH faster than going to each friends home page to add them to the list from there).

Once you have gone to a list page, it will show up on the left sidebar under "Friends" section as a recent visit for easy recall again later.

If you want to give it a permanent place on the left sidebar, click the pencil icon next to the name and "add to favorites". The favorites list lives at the top of your left sidebar and makes it easy to revisit these pages again now that you have worked so hard to collate your info into manageable chunks.

Facebook comes with a default Family List and Close Friends List. Now you know how to use these lists and create more of your own! Sometimes you feel like you might share more of your life (photos, thoughts) if you knew it wasn't going out to every acquaintance, client, and Joe that you don't really know too well. If you want to share something with a limited set of people. Simply go to the page based on the list that you created. The post box on that page will default to send ONLY to that list of people. Now you can share different parts of your life that would be interesting to more specific people!

Also, having lists allows you narrow your incoming feed down to better not miss something that your only-two-posts-a-week-friend said a few days ago. Special friends and family get put into key lists, when you get to that list, you catch up on their lives that would have otherwise been washed downstream by the people that post many times per day. If you only ever looked at your main feed, this would be true! Try it. You'll be surprised how many posts you would have otherwise missed!

So Facebook lists give you a very useful way to read and share. I hope you find this useful and your FB experience might take on a whole new look and feel!

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Melissa Zavala
Broadpoint Properties - Escondido, CA
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County

Thank you for the very thorough explanation of how to do this. Now, I just need to put your instructions into play.

Apr 14, 2012 10:29 AM #14
Cindy Edwards
RE/MAX Checkmate - Johnson City, TN
CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee - 423-677-6677


I'm thinking you could do an entire class on Google plus.  I am trying to understand it!!!  I'm looking forward to the video class.

Apr 14, 2012 11:30 AM #15
Toronto, ON

Hi Craig - Facebook is coming out with so many changes in recent months.  I am still waiting for my account to be automatically updated to the new TimeLine format.

Apr 14, 2012 11:56 AM #16
Nancy Laswick
United Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ
Your REALTOR® For The Valley Of The Sun

Craig, thanks for the Facebook tip. I don't have a business page just use it for totally social reasons currently.

Apr 14, 2012 04:01 PM #17
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Thanks Craig, great info.  I knew about the lists but didn't know for sure how to get to it.  This will help.

Apr 14, 2012 09:09 PM #18
Alan Gross
PrimeLending, A PlainsCapital Company, Equal Housing Lender - Bethesda, MD
Loan Consultant

Thanks for the detailed instructions. I have been using lists in Facebook and your right, Google + circles are easier to use.

Apr 14, 2012 09:31 PM #19
Kathryn Maguire
GreatNorfolkHomes.com (757) 560-0881 - Chesapeake, VA
Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach

Another great post!  I have not delved into Google+ because I already feel like I am overwhelmed by techological options!  (But I love the list option in Facebook.  Have been using them for a while)

Apr 14, 2012 09:44 PM #20
Craig Daniels
Tech Training for You! - Staten Island, NY
Technology Instructor/Project Consultant

Tammy - some days I keep up with it all, mostly not, that's why the lists help me get quick glimpses into portions of my world that matter most. FB and G+ can dual all they want I agree, we get great new features! I'm still looking for the right connection to full-time employment again. Meanwhile, keeping busy with part-time projects. Thanks for asking :)

Debbie - love those words, thanks

Melissa - it makes more sense after doing it, I'm really liking the views

Cindy - so much to teach, so little time :) thx

Apr 14, 2012 10:38 PM #21
Craig Daniels
Tech Training for You! - Staten Island, NY
Technology Instructor/Project Consultant

Marc - I thought FB had done all the timeline updates by now, I guess not?? You should be able to click a button on the bottom of this page to get it anytime http://www.facebook.com/about/timeline

Nancy - without a business page especially do these lists come in handy if you have an all-in-one experience business and personal account

Gabe - they could have made it easier! it is not bad once you see where they hide stuff

Alan - much easier, thanks for visiting :)

Kathryn - Google+ is easy enough to figure out I think - social media sort of makes more sense now than when it was first introduced - we already understand all the concepts - check it out sometime, it is worth it I think :)

Apr 14, 2012 10:44 PM #22
Todd Clark
eXp Realty LLC - Tigard, OR
Principle Broker Oregon

Since I have learned how to use lists effectively I have actually been getting business from them. Targeting only those who I know will want to see the posts has allowed Facebook to actually share it rather than bury it like they do so many other things. 


Apr 15, 2012 02:27 AM #23
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News
Thanks for the info. Need to spend a little time deciding how to put this all to work.
Apr 15, 2012 08:07 AM #24
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


Thanks for the tutorial. Now I have to put what you said into practice - I have done nothing with lists so far.


Apr 15, 2012 10:52 AM #25
Markita Woods NMLS#196099
American Financial Network - Woodbridge, VA
Queen of Mortgages - FHA, VA, Conventional, USDA

Craig I have been using lists but it "seems" like the post is still being sent through entire friends lidt feed, probably not but seems like it when i go through my feed.

Apr 15, 2012 12:55 PM #26
DeeDee Riley
Lyon Real Estate - El Dorado Hills CA - El Dorado Hills, CA
Realtor - El Dorado Hills & the Surrounding Areas


Great info as usual.  I was playing around and trying to add more people to the lists I have but couldn't seem to get to it easily.  Any suggestions?

Thanks so much!

Apr 18, 2012 03:42 AM #27
Ginny Gorman
RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate - North Kingstown, RI
Homes for Sale in Southern RI and beyond

You are so good at this...i can never get it straight ....i like the mini groups better for ease though...

Apr 19, 2012 01:49 AM #28
Lorraine or Loretta Kratz
Crescent Moon Realty, Inc. & Land N Sea Auctions. - San Marcos, CA
Certified Negotiation Consultants

Boy, I really need to investigate the options that Google+ offers. Plus the other perks.

Apr 19, 2012 08:49 AM #29
Joy Daniels
Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd. - Harrisburg, PA

I also think the FB lists are a bit difficult to manage.  It is hard to get all of your friend catorigized. 

Apr 29, 2012 11:51 AM #30
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Even with the lists I still don't completely trust FB and won't post anything there that I wouldn't want the world to see.  One time years ago they sent a video link to one of my cousins saying it was from me and I didn't like that.  Can't trust them now.

May 29, 2012 11:53 AM #31
Jenny Durling
L.A. Property Solutions - Los Angeles, CA
For Los Angeles real estate help 213-215-4758

Great information - I'm going to open my facebook page and take a look at it right now - with your blog post open right next to it!

Jun 02, 2012 02:22 AM #32
Dana Basiliere
Rossi & Riina Real Estate - Williston, VT
Making deals "Happen"


This is an older post I found but it is relevant and thanks for putting up these tips. I added you as an associate so I will see your new ones. Thanks


Sep 09, 2012 01:51 PM #33
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