Customizing What You See in the New Facebook

As we’ve been talking about this week, the new Facebook changes bring both benefits and challenges when you’re a marketer. From a user standpoint, there are some cool new features, including the ability to see all the posts from specific groups of people at a time. Sure, you have to set those lists up, but once you do, you see a much smaller subset of your friends, which means you’re less likely to miss posts from people important to you. (This is, of course, a challenge for marketers, because unless your friends on Facebook specifically put you in lists, you’re posts are less visible.)

But today, let’s talk about Facebook from a user standpoint. You are able to adjust what you see in your newsfeed in a couple of ways, which means that, with time, you can have a fairly customized view of what you see on Facebook. Here’s some of what you can do:

Using Facebook Lists

  • Set up Lists – By default, Facebook has set some up for you: Close Friends, Acquaintances, Family. If you’re not familiar with Lists, this is a good place to start. Click one of these list names on the left side of your Facebook home page (you’ll see a section labeled Lists) and you can start adding friends to this list.
  • Add Friends to Your Lists – To add friends, you can take Facebook’s suggestions on the right side of the screen, by clicking the Add button, and also decide who to add by clicking the Manage List button at the top of your screen. Then you can click on the names of people that you want to add to your list.

  • Additional List Options – When you click the Manage List button, you get additional options. You can rename your list, add or remove friends from the list, merge the list with an existing list, and choose the types of updates you see from people on the list (for example, you might not want to see Games from the people in your list, in which case you would uncheck that.)
  • Custom Lists – To create custom lists, go back to Lists on the sidebar of your Facebook home page. When you mouse over that section, you’ll see the word “More” appear next to the heading Lists. Click More, and you’ll be taken to the main Lists page. From here you’ll see a list of all the lists you’ve set up. There are a couple of things you can do from this screen.
    • To create a new list, click the Create a List button on the top-right of your screen. Name your list and add people, just like we did earlier.
    • Add a List to your Favorites. I find this option to be highly convenient. Any lists you’ll look at every day (such as family, customers, etc.) can be added in the top left section of your Facebook home page, under the heading Favorites. Just click the pencil icon next to any list, and choose Add to Favorites. The list will be added to the bottom of your Favorites list. Then you’ll see how many updates have been added to that list since the last time you checked. For example, in the screen shot to the right, you can see that there have been 2 updates to the Personal Friends list since the last time I checked.

Now in addition to Lists, there are additional ways to influence what appears in your News Feed.

  • Mark Top Stories – If there are particular types of posts that you really like, such as motivational quotes or photos, you can tell Facebook that you want to see more of these. Simply mouse over the story that you like, and you’ll see a blue corner appear on the top-left of that particular post. Click the blue corner and Facebook will mark it as a Top Story for you.
  • Additional Options – You have additional options when you mouse over an individual post and click the arrow that appears on the right side. From here you can Mark/Unmark something as a top story, hide the story from the news feed, or mark a story as spam (one more reason not to spam your friends with business-specific posts from your profile!) You also have the option to control which stories you see from an individual. You can choose to see All Updates, Most Updates, or Only Important updates (as determined by Facebook.) You can also choose to completely remove an individual from your news feed from this menu.
  • Managing Stories from the Ticker – In addition to posts in your News Feed, you can also manage what shows up in the ticker. Mouse over any story, and it will expand. Mouse over the expanded story and you’ll see that little arrow again. From there you have the option to hide a story, or report it as spam.

So these are some of the ways you can manage what you see in Facebook. If you’ve found other options, I’d love to read about them in the comments. Tomorrow, we’ll talk a bit about privacy settings, and how they play into all of this.

How are you managing with the new Facebook home page?

3 Responses to Customizing What You See in the New Facebook
  1. Gretchen
    September 28, 2011 | 11:12 am

    I put everyone in the Acquaintances, Family, or Close Friends lists, and then chose “Most Updates” or “All Updates” based on list instead of individual person.
    Gretchen recently posted..goodbyes & growing older

  2. Juli Becker
    September 28, 2011 | 10:29 am

    Thanks! Sometimes it’s challenging to keep up with all the changes, but you broke it down enough, so I can understand it more clearly. Appreciate it!
    Juli Becker recently posted..3 Critical Keys To Consider When Choosing The Right MLM Company

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