Friends Lists as an Alternate Facebook Feed

FriendsLists, by Sleau Pauk Comics
FriendsLists, by Sleau Pauk Comics

Have you noticed that you’re seeing the same posts over and over again at the top of your Facebook newsfeed? I don’t pretend to understand Facebook’s algorithm but it seems that every time someone posts a comment to a post, it moves it to the top of that person’s newsfeed. That way the most active posts are at the top of the newsfeed.

I’ve tried sorting “most recent first,” to get around this, but the feed still sorts by recent activity, rather than post date/time.

Recently, I decided to resurrect my friends lists, and I’ve found that I can see more of the posts I want to see from my friends and the pages I like. If you haven’t used this feature in a while, the first thing you’ll notice is that Facebook has already compiled some lists for you.  Those sort the same way the newsfeed does – by activity date, rather than post date.  But at the top of the friends list page, you’ll see an option to “Create List.” From there, you just follow the instructions, and start adding people.

My favorite thing about these lists is that they seem to sort by post date, so I see more posts from my friends and favorite pages.  I’ve also noticed that once I add someone to a friends list, that person’s posts seem to show up more often in my regular news feed.

Now, here’s the fine print:

  • While the lists are private, remember not to name these list in a way that would be embarrassing if the lists are suddenly made public (again).
  • Don’t spend hours and hours cultivating your friends list, because without warning, these “features” could go the way of “favorites” and “interest” and simply be retired.

If you use Facebook regularly, I hope you give the friends list feature a try. It might help you engage in a more meaningful way with the folks you actually signed up for Facebook to see in the first place. I would also be interested in knowing if you’ve found any other tips or tricks to make your news feed more enjoyable.

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