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Facebook fixes: Lists vs Groups

September 29, 2011
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With people trying to fix their news feeds, the question has come up, what is the difference between Lists and Groups.  Here is a brief overview.

Lists:

An example of custom lists

From Facebook: Lists are an optional way to you organize your friends on Facebook so you can filter the stories you see in News Feed or post an update for specific people from one part of your life, like your coworkers or friends who live near you.

Lists are a great way for categorizing friends and family based on what you want them to see and what you want to see about them.  For example, I have a list called Farmville.  And as the name implies, it is a list of  friends who play FarmVille and other games.  I use this list in two ways.  I can click on the list in the left side navigation bar and I will only see those posts from my gaming friends in the New Feed.

Using lists to limit who sees your posts

When I post the Rainbow Chickens from FarmVille, I select the Farmville list.  This way the only friends who will see my post in their News Feed are those that have an interest in snagging the Rainbow Chicken.

Only the people on your custom list can view the content that you posted.  You can place your friends on one or more lists.

You will notice the EVERYONE list on the screen capture.  This is the list I use to make my News Feed look like the old version.  I can see all posts in chronological order.  You can read my previous post on how to create a list here.

More information can be found here on Facebook about lists: http://www.facebook.com/help/?page=768

Groups:

Example of a group list

From Facebook: Groups provide a closed space for small groups of people to communicate about shared interests. Groups can be created by anyone.

Groups allow you to create a place where you and group members can share content. Depending on the privacy setting you choose, the group can be Open (public) with anyone able to view and join; Closed where group is visible but posts must be approved by the group admin, and Secret where group is not visible to public and members must be approved by the group admin.

Example of a group

The group members can post status updates, photos, and videos.  The group can have a discussion tab where members can host a discussion.  There is also the ability to set up a group event.

More information can be found here on Facebook about groups: http://www.facebook.com/help/?page=131954106881345

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