Facebook Smart Lists – Not That Smart?

by Christi on September 19, 2011

Facebook Smart ListsFacebook lists are a great way to control who sees what you post and how you interact with them. If you haven’t used the Facebook list functionality, you have missed one of the great Facebook features. Last week, Facebook changed the way lists are created and introduced “smart lists.”  According to Facebook:

Managing lists is boring. That’s why smart lists do the work for you. To start, we’ll offer you smart lists for:

  • Work
  • School
  • Family
  • City

For instance, if you list Boston College as a school you’ve attended and your friends John and Sarah do too, then you would instantly have a smart list called “Boston College” with John and Sarah on it. This means that if you’re having a grad party or a college reunion, you can easily share photos with just your college friends, without bothering other people you know.

You can also add or remove friends manually to make the lists even more accurate.

Okay, so if you haven’t made lists before, this is a helpful tool to get started. However, the functionality is so limited, I’m not too sure how “smart” it is. The problem with the new smart lists is that they offer lists for only your work, school, city, and family. You cannot search for people outside your own lists. For instance, we have several clients from other cities. It is sometimes helpful for me to see what is being posted by my friends in a particular city. I have set up lists of my friends in some of those cities. Facebook made that easy because I could search by current city (other than my own current city) and then add the people to the list for each city I chose.

With the “smart” lists, I cannot search for people in other cities. The smart lists shows me people who are within 10 miles of my current city only. That is fine for adding people to my list of people in my current city, but does not help me at all when I want to make lists of people in other cities. This is also the case for work, school and family.

Because Facebook had this functionality and then took it away with this latest update, my hope is that they will add it back at some time. Judging by the feedback on the Facebook page, there is a lot of “dislike” for how Facebook is now doing lists.

Let me add a caveat. I appreciate that Facebook is trying to make lists easier. The bigger your friend list, the more cumbersome it is to get lists organized. This could be a great update if it they will extend it to include searches that they included in the past (and maybe even add to that).

Do you use lists? What do you think?

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By the way, there is a new Facebook for Business 101 eBook in the works. Just letting Facebook get settled down a bit before release. Stay tuned!

 

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