Facebook’s new News Feed – Use Lists!

by Matt Mecham on September 21, 2011

in Facebook, Reviews

If you press your ear to your monitor, you can hear thousands of people gnashing their teeth over the new Facebook news feed changes. For years, we’ve had a simple chronological list of status updates. I log in a few times a day to get a snapshot of what my friends and family are up to. I keep my friends list small so I don’t have a lot of noise.

Today Facebook unveiled a newly designed Facebook news feed. The reasons for the change? Almost certainly because of Google plus, but that’s for another blog entry. This new news feed is like an overview of your friends. The ordering is mixed up and it only shows what Facebook believes are worthy of showing.

I like things simple. I like to view a list of status updates in a reverse chronological order. Fortunately, you can still do this.

Facebook recently updated their list functionality. The idea is that you add people in lists grouped by common interest and you can then read just their status updates in a reverse chronological format. Once you get to grips with lists, you really won’t mind the new changes.

You can even add Pages to these lists very quickly. To do this simply:

- Click on the list you want to add items to from the sidebar.
- Click on the “Manage List” drop down in the top right of the page
- Choose “Add/Remove Friends” from the drop down box
- When the dialog box opens, click on the drop down box in the top left of the box and select “Pages”
- Select the pages you want to add and then click “Done”  - simple!

I’ve set up a few lists for family and local people and it’s a great way to read their status updates without noise in-between. You could even create a list for “All” and add all of your friends in that list. This would then give you a close approximation of the previous Facebook format. You could even bookmark that list link and use that as your default landing page.

You can use the “List Suggestions” box to quickly add people into a list. It’s really quite fast and you can add a few hundred people in a minute or so.

A great feature of these lists is the ability to filter out what each list displays. So you can choose not to receive “Games” updates in certain lists. Phew! Saves having to ‘hide’ each game as they sneak into your feed.

The new format combined with lists is actually more powerful and flexible than the old system. Thanks Google+!

Give it a try! It’s quicker and easier than setting up a new ‘I hate Facebook’ page or photoshopping a meme.

Update: I’ve written in more detail about the new changes here.


1 Amged Osman September 21, 2011 at 8:07 pm

Looks like a lot of ppl not digging the new features and updates, it’s understandable though. People hate changes!

2 Hassan Voyeau September 22, 2011 at 12:07 am

There is catch though. What about pages?

3 Hassan Voyeau September 22, 2011 at 12:10 am

Never mind there is an option to add pages. Just need to figure out how to select all instead of individually selecting each one.

4 Hassan Voyeau September 22, 2011 at 12:54 am

How do I enable the ticker?

5 Matt Mecham September 22, 2011 at 8:17 am

I updated my blog to show how to add pages. I do hope they add a “Select All” feature soon. I think it would really help.

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