Facebook Improved Lists and How-To Use the New Subscribe Button

These two new Facebook features may not look so new to those of us who have ventured onto the latest social network, Google+. It seems like Facebook has implemented some functions that Google+ rolled out; such as the “lists” functionality, an ability to categorize people on your profile into certain defaulted or created lists. The “subscribe” button seems to mimic Google+’s open concept, or even a similarity to Twitters “follow” concept.

How will this affect you as a Facebook user and how exactly does it work?

The Breakdown:

What are Facebook Lists?

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The Facebook improved “lists” feature is not actually new to the social platform. Lists have been around since 2010 and only truly usable if you added your “friend request” to a specific list or if you manually searched your friends and added them into lists that you had created; truly making it more work than necessary.

Once Google+ rolled out its social network this year, the biggest buzz surrounding the network was its “circles” idea, where you can add people to circles you create and share information with specific groups of people, instead of all.

This was a momentous creation on Google’s part since many complained about Facebook’s less than easy “lists” functionality and not having the ability to separate people with whom they did or did not want to share their life with, therefore, the “circles” concept became popular, while Facebook’s “lists” feature collected dust.

Facebook has recently changed that by adding a “friends” button at the top right corner of profiles. There, you are able to choose which list best suits each friend and have the ability to create a new list directly on a profile from the “friends” button dropdown.

How-To Use the Improved Facebook Lists

Simply go to a friend’s profile and up in the right-hand corner click the “friends” button, a dropdown will appear with defaulted list titles that Facebook has created to get you started as well as a spot for you to begin creating your own.

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For Example, if you want to group your co-workers into a particular “list”, you can. Therefore when you share content on your newsfeed you can now choose which “lists” you do and do not want to share your latest post with, giving you more options and flexibility as well as allowing you to filter what you want seen by whom. You can also view your “lists” from your newsfeed on the left-hand side.

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Here is where it gets tricky.

You do not now want to lose your inhibitions simply because you can choose for the boss to not see your activity, just because you have added certain people to “lists” does not mean that when someone who shares a friend in common with you that you do not want to see the content you post won’t see it. It could still possibly be seen when a friend “likes” or “comments” on a post, hence remain mindful of exactly what you truly want people to see, it is the Internet after all.

Once you have created “lists” go to your newsfeed to post something to your wall and below the box, you will now see the word “friends”. This is where you choose the “list” you want to share that particular post with, remember to check it the next time you want to post something to ensure you are sharing with the “list” you desire.

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What is Facbook’s New Subscribe Button?

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Located in the same area as the “friends” button, the “subscribe” button allows you to get more out of Facebook and less noise from people and pages that you see too much of in your newsfeed. It is giving the user the ability to strengthen or weaken what you want in your newsfeed, enabling more control. All you have to do is go to a friend’s profile to make the changes, such as seeing “all updates” or if you want to see, certain areas of what they talk about, you can alter it straight from this button.

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This will help you see just photos, or opt out of the games a friend plays; it is all dependent on what you deem quality content and how you want to customize what you find interesting from each particular friend. Alternatively, this works if someone posts too much and clutters your newsfeed, instead of hiding people’s posts within your newsfeed; adjust the settings of what appeals to you most about them.

You can also “subscribe” to people’s activities that you are not friends with, giving you the ability to keep track of famous people (who unfortunately most likely won’t accept friends) or of people who interest you but you do not necessarily know well enough to want to add them as a “friend” on Facebook.

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Much like Google+’s concept, you are able to share content publicly, just by clicking the “public” choice prior to posting. This means that you are giving permission for your post to be seen publicly, yes, even off Facebook. However, you will need to enable this by going to the subscriptions page and clicking “Allow Subscribers” – might sound creepy to some but not much different from following a person on Twitter. Besides, it is much easier than trying to upkeep a personal Facebook page, although we do not recommend this for businesses.

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Once you allow subscribers, you can decide who can comment and what notifications you get. You will also see a Subscribers tab on your profile, where you can see who subscribes to you.

These latest Facebook features will only be as useful as you want them to be, try and see the angles of how this could benefit you on a personal and professional level before you dismiss them entirely, you never know, it could come in handy where you least expect it.

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Erin Ryan is a writer for various blogs and a Social Media Specialist who has a keen understanding of the power of Social Media for business and fervently stays up-to-date with the Social Media Industry. Erin enjoys teaching and helping people and businesses on how to use and connect through Social Media. You can connect with Erin on Twitter or read more Social Media Articles written by Erin Ryan.


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+Erin Ryan is a writer for various Social Media & Tech blogs and currently works as the Director of Social Media for the Internet Marketing Company, Wikimotive. Erin has a keen understanding of the power of Social Media for business and fervently stays up-to-date.

Creator and head editor of Socialeyezer She enjoys finding the latest in social media, tech and geek culture. Erin often expresses her thoughts and opinions on TheErinRyan. Connect through Erin Ryan’s About.me Profile

Erin Ryan – who has written posts on Socialeyezer.