Creating friend lists is so 2001.
Gone are the days when you would spend half a day managing all your online friends into separate groups so that you can share specific posts with a specific set of people. Almost every other social site has a “Friend list” feature but I am very sure most users are way lethargic on creating friend groups and customize their sharing habits. As far as Facebook goes, you can create friend lists but most of the friends I know of have never really found the time to act upon it.
This is because people are way busy doing stuff and they don’t really have enough time doing these things. If you have 825 friends in Facebook, 2365 friends in Google plus and 500 followers in Twitter, creating and maintaining those ever expanding friend lists are going to be too hectic.
Facebook knows this too, which is why the social giant is all set to release automated smart friend lists for every Facebook user in a few weeks from now
In coming weeks, Facebook will gradually roll out automated smart friend lists on your Facebook profile. These lists will be created automatically, depending upon your connections, sharing habits, common attributes and other signals. Here are some noteworthy points regarding new Facebook friend lists and how they will divide your friends into separate groups:
Smart Lists On Facebook
Smart lists on Facebook are made from the information available on your profile. Facebook will automatically scan the profile bio of your friends and find related matches. Examples include common school, college, office location, previous employers, present home town, relationship status and so on. In short, smart friend lists on Facebook will contain those people whom you know in real life but have lost track of them and haven’t met in years.
As far as I know most users, they are inclined towards people they know in real life and want to connect with them on social sites. Smart friend lists will contain your co-workers, school friends, college associates and colleagues so you can share specific updates with only school friends and prevent office colleagues from seeing that update, photo or video you just uploaded.
Close Friends and Acquaintances lists
Contrary to school friends and co-workers, often you will end up being friends with someone you don’t know in real life. You met this person in Facebook and found that both of you are insanely crazy over Basketball. The friendship grew and both of you often exchange private messages, wall posts and comments in each others status updates.
That’s a very close relation, despite of the fact that you don’t know this person and you will never meet him in real life.
Here comes the “Close friends and Acquaintances lists” on Facebook, which will sort your friends according to the frequency of connections.
The “close friends” list will consist of friends with whom you frequently exchange messages, IM conversations and comments. Facebook knows that you are interested in this person, even if you don’t share a common attribute e.g school, work, education, home town and so on. This is useful, because you can quickly filter out important updates from people who matter and ignore rest of the stuff you are not interested in.
In addition to “smart lists” and “close friends”, Facebook will also offer personalized suggestions, thereby suggesting you people whom you should add to a list. For example: if you’re friends with John and John is very close to Harry, Facebook might suggest you to add Harry to “John’s connections”, if and only if Harry is friends with you on Facebook.
Personalized lists help a lot when you want to tweak the finer details of an auto generated Facebook friend list by removing or adding specific people from the list.
What Happens to Old Friend Lists?
They stay intact and you may continue to use them as you like. The auto generated lists will not overlap and are completely independent in nature, so they won’t disturb your existing friend lists on Facebook.
The biggest problem of managing Facebook friend lists is that you have to manually add each and every friend to a list, when you get more friends. After a couple of weeks, you are fed up of adding random people to a blocked list and the result is that you end up seeing or reading a lot of unnecessary, meaningless updates. When the auto generated friend lists are imposed, I guess users will have one click ways to filter updates, photos, videos and posts from specific group of friends. Saves time and you have to do nothing at your side!
This should not be confused with Google Plus circles, which is again purely manual in nature. Good job Facebook!