Google+ Circles are the New Facebook Friend Lists

While we’re getting to grips with Google+ and the fantastically functional (and titled) Circles, there’s a lot of talk about how they’re got it right in terms of being able to segment our friends. Its genesis could be found in last year’s amazing presentation ‘The Real Life Social Network,’ but let’s not forget Facebook’s own version of Circles: Friend Lists.

Friend Lists (like Circles) are a way in which to better manage your privacy, from which you can apply custom settings. You choose who to broadcast updates to, or hide updates from. For example, amongst my own I have a Work list and a Close Family list. People in my Close Family list see everything: pictures and videos of family, updates (bar the sweary ones for which I’ll add exceptions) whereas people in my Work List see very little. Almost nothing. No photo albums. No videos. No updates. People in my work list are people with who I’ve had business interactions with and who have sought me on Facebook. Instead of rejecting their Friend Request, I accept, add them to my list and everyone’s happy. I’ve safeguarded my privacy and fostered my network.

So really, this is Circles, only not as intuitive.

Creating a Friend List

1. Go to your Friends page, found either by clicking Account on the top right of your page, then ‘Edit Friends’ or simply go to

2. At the top of your Friends, to the right, you’ll see ‘+ Create a List’ – click this.

3. Give your List a title. Then simply click the users you want to add to your list (or use the dynamic name search if you know who you’re looking for). When selected, click Create a List.

Managing Your Content

1. Go to Account on the top right of your page, then Privacy Settings.
2. At the bottom of the big Sharing on Facebook box, you’ll see Customise Settings. That’s where we’re going

3. The following process will be the same process for each of the sharing options. Now, where you see the dropdown menu with the padlock, click it and select Customise.

4. You can see you can make it visible or hide it from specific people. As you type in a name, Facebook will suggest people. The List you created will appear as though it were a person.  Easy peasy.

So there you go. Managing who sees what is more convoluted than the click Circle in Google+ but it is an effective way to manage your networks and friends.

Article by Tom Stables


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