Facebook Friend Lists let you manage your “friends” more effectively

This morning Facebook launched a new “Friend Lists” feature that will make the problem of organizing your hundreds of Facebook friends a little easier.

Facebook wants their “social graph” (your friend list) to represent the real-world as accurately as possible. However, previously there had been no robust way to distinguish between your best friend and someone you just met at a conference (except for listing “how you know this person”). While this is a complex problem, users are clamoring for more efficient ways to set different boundaries with different types of “friends.”

Currently, Friend Lists lets you 1) organize people into lists (but only for the sake of your own management – these lists don’t show up anywhere on your profile page), and 2) bulk message everyone on a Friend List easily. As I speculated when hints of this feature first showed up back in August, I would expect Facebook to add privacy controls to Friend Lists as well. This is a major challenge, but helping users organize their Friend Lists over time will make Facebook more usable to those with hundreds or thousands of Facebook friends every day.


Mediabistro Job Fair

Mediabistro Event

Mediabistro Job Fair

Join us on January 27 at the Altman Building in New York City for an incredible opportunity to meet with hiring managers from the top New York media companies, network with other professionals and industry leaders, and land your next job! Register now!


Leave a Reply

38 Responses to “Facebook Friend Lists let you manage your “friends” more effectively”

  1. Facebook agrega listas says:

    [...] Inside Facebook Si te gustó este artículo, suscribete a nuestro RSS Feed Prohibida su copia total [...]

  2. Facebook: Making a list, checking it twice - - mathewingram.com/work says:

    [...] Smith at Inside Facebook has the 411 on a new feature on Facebook — everyone’s social-networking walled garden of choice, it seems. The site [...]

  3. OK, Facebook. You Gave Me Lists, Now Where’s my Permissioning? says:

    [...] has launched a feature today that allows users to categorize their friends into lists. So far, I’ve created lists [...]

  4. Facebook Makes it Easy to Spam Mass Message says:

    [...] new lists feature now allows users to build groups of their friends and message them all at once. This is a very cool [...]

  5. Insider Chatter by Donna Bogatin » Why Facebook Will NEVER Kill LinkedIn says:

    [...] The Facebook boys are happy today, believing the “death” of LinkedIn is finally near, thanks to the supposed “killer” feature the world is alleged to have been waiting on bated breadth for, “sorting out friends”: We’ll let you organize that long list of friends into groups so you can decide more specifically who sees what. [...]

  6. Nathan B says:

    If you want further flexibility in associating tags or information with your friends for filtering or organization purposes, you should check out my app, Rolodexterous. Think Excel meets Facebook!

    Try it out:

  7. Facebook führt Friend Lists ein: Kontakte lassen sich jetzt besser organisieren « c/o operative says:

    [...] bietet Facebook mit ‘Friend Lists’ jetzt die Möglichkeit, seine Kontakte besser zu organisieren und je nach Anlass und Zweck in [...]

  8. Facebook Lets Users Link-In Contacts by Groups-- bub.blicio.us says:

    [...] at InisdeFacebook and [...]

  9. M says:

    I wish we had the option to set it back the way it was, though … I don’t have hundreds of friends on there, and I liked the display the was I was used to, the way it was. :(

  10. Ryan Wedderburn » Blog Archive » Facebook Friend Lists says:

    [...] Finally, you’re now able to group and classify your friends on Facebook through a new feature Friend Lists. [...]

  11. Facebook Friend Lists « Ryan’s Blog says:

    [...] Facebook Friend Lists Finally, you’re now able to group and classify your friends on Facebook through a new feature Friend Lists. [...]

  12. ian says:

    the new functinality sucks. You used to be able to see on one page a list of friends and what the relationship of each person was (ie went to college, random stories etc). Now the only way to do this is to right click on an individual person using the symbol next to them. You have to do this person by person, and have no way of knowing if there is any extra information available or not.

    It basically means that nobody is ever going to see the detailed relationship info that people leave when adding a friend.

  13. joaquin says:

    Seems like a cool feature.

  14. KM says:

    Is there something that I need to install for this new feature? I no longer able to view my friends, it’s like the page stop loading. I don’t encounter this problem when using Firefox. My friends get listed.

  15.   Orkut Launches Photo Albums by Laigoo - All In One says:

    [...] organize all these things. To exemplify this approach, most recently, Facebook allowed its users to organize their friends into different categories. And now, Orkut launches its photo organizer, i.e. the photo [...]

  16. Inside Facebook » 3 Important Facebook Updates Coming Soon says:

    [...] weeks ago, Facebook took the first step toward enabling more efficient friend management with the release of Friend Lists. However, as was noted at the time, the killer feature of Friend Lists — Privacy Controls [...]

  17. Coming Soon Features on Facebook « TechRadar says:

    [...] weeks ago, Facebook took the first step toward enabling more efficient friend management with the release of Friend Lists. However, as was noted at the time, the killer feature of Friend Lists — Privacy Controls — was [...]

  18. Lee says:

    About the friend lists… If you have hundreds of friends and want to be able to make a list of each 20 lets say or 15, the only way to keep track that you aren’t doubling up is by selecting a page of friends in Alphabetical order OR page specific-BUT this poses a problem when you are constantly adding new friends, because new people will appear in the alphabetical order and not in the order they were added. A great tweak to the friend list, would be to have the option to make additional lists of ONLY new friends. Otherwise, one has to constanly create new lists if they are an active friend adder… anyone know a solution to this problem?

  19. Hash says:

    As you rightly alluded to this is next to useless without privacy controls – what you want is to have certain privacy settings for some groups that differ from others.

  20. 5 Features You’ll Like in the New Facebook Design | Stay N' Alive says:

    [...] Groups, and Events. Or, you can pick a specific Friends List (You are organizing your friends into Friends lists, right?) and filter by only those friends within a particular list. This makes sorting through all [...]

  21. Masters of Media, New Media MA Amsterdam » Typing social links: on modeling relations in ego-centric and issue-centric networks says:

    [...] meant to reduce the burden of those who have lists of hundreds or even thousands of countacts. As justin Smiths of Inside Facebook does, I also expect this feature to eventually evolve in improved privacy [...]

  22. Blogroll » Typing Social Links: Modeling Relations In Egocentric And Issue-Centric Networks says:

    [...] meant to reduce the burden of those who have lists of hundreds or even thousands of countacts. As justin Smiths of Inside Facebook does, I also expect this feature to eventually evolve in improved privacy [...]

  23. Gauri Shenolikar says:

    Hi There,

    Can anybody please help me out with the formatting of friendlist in facebook?

    I am developing facebook application using VS.Net and C#.

    I am able to get the friendlist with their images, but the formatting is not as per my desire. I want them in horizontal order, with paging enabled, and want to select multiple friends at the same time.

    Please any one if you know about this, take out some time and reply. I need it desperately.


  24. Mr Blog » Blog Archive » Do “filters” mean Twitter has failed? says:

    [...] “friends” by “degree of closeness.” It lets me group friends into different “friends lists”, but you can’t do much with those yet, beyond bulk mailing the list.  For what it’s [...]

  25. Facebook Friend Lists: A Numbers Game » Alison Driscoll says:

    [...] advantages of using Facebook Friend Lists for business and marketing purposes are fairly obvious and abundant, but the biggest draw for the [...]

  26. BachDream says:

    How can I set that hidden my friends lists ?

  27. BachDream says:

    Facebook How to Hidden My Friends List ?

  28. BachDream says:

    How can I hide my friend list from my friends in Facebook ?

  29. attayaya says:

    how to make friend list?

  30. thompson says:

    this new facebook sucks. I want to be able to see my contacts all listed like they used to be.
    why weren’t asked if they wanted a change?
    this is progress?
    what a pain.

  31. jean Loudin says:

    I liked the old way of listing friends. This new stuff is for the birds.

  32. Prashant says:


    While connecting Facebook api service from windows(Desktop) application using c# code, i found following error..
    “Requested value ‘NotPolitical’was not found”

    Please resolve asap.


  33. Jim Potter says:

    I have 65 friends, on 3 different lists, but I would like to re-organize them into 3 or 4 different lists, with new names. How do I do this; or can it not be done? Thanx, in advance of any help.

  34. lobe david says:

    my name is lobe David and my email is watsondvd2@gmail.com please i really need some money to complete my education if there is any one out there who can help me please let him or her try because i cant go to school let help please i am 18 years old and in high school i have become an academic dropout because i cant pay fees no worries about my parents because they cant really help me out.

  35. livestreamfree says:

    yeah its goodd

  36. Vanesa says:

    I have just one question. I know we can create friend lists to organize friends but how do we make them private apart from the typical friend list that shows up on the profile by default is under view settings as a small link. I guess they haven’t made that option yet…I don’t want my friends to see how I organize them.

  37. Sharon says:

    Aphabetized by first name worked. You’re making us work too hard at this. You’re not thinking about how to keep it simple, stupid!

  38. Sharon says:

    OOOOHHH! Go to Profile. Hit on Friends on the left, then click the little hot wierd-looking dotted box at the top right and it will alphabetize them! WHO KNEW! A friend figured it out, but somewhere there should have been an answer to my question of how to alphabetize like before. Your Friends list loads faster and clicking the box is a fast change to alphabetizing by first name, though they won’t stay that way. It’s not the way others see your friends list — unless they click that box!

Get the latest news in your inbox
interested in advertising with inside facebook?

Social Media Jobs
of the Day

Social Media Specialist

Kensington Publishing Corp.
New York, NY

Web & Social Media Analyst

Chicago, IL

Interactive Marketing Manager

Phoenix, AZ

Communications Specialist

Humanscale Corporation
New York, NY

Engagement Editor

The Center for Public Integrity
Washington, DC

Featured Company

Join leading companies like this one and recruit from the nation's top media job seekers on the Mediabistro Job Board. Every job post comes with our satisfaction guarantee. Learn More

Our Sponsors

Mediabistro A division of Prometheus Global Media home | site map | advertising/sponsorships | careers | contact us | help courses | browse jobs | freelancers | content | member benefits | reprints & permissions terms of use | privacy policy Copyright © 2014 Mediabistro Inc. call (212) 389-2000 or email us