Facebook lists are a way to organize your friends and the fan pages you like. There are actually two kinds of lists you can create: Interest Lists — for Facebook fan pages you like; and Friend Lists — for your Facebook connections that are people. This article explains how to create a Facebook Interest List so you see more updates from the Facebook Fan pages you Like in your Facebook news feed.
Why Should You Create an Interest List on Facebook?
If you’ve Liked a fan page, but you notice you aren’t seeing updates from that page in your news feed, an Interest List can be handy. When you create an Interest List and populate it with fan pages you’ve Liked, that list appears in the left sidebar of your Facebook home page. You can add the list to your Favorites if you like, so it’s easily accessible. Any time you want to see updates from the fan pages you’ve Liked, just click the name of the list and those updates will be right in your news feed.
Now, the first thing I hear from people when I suggest creating lists is, “That sounds like a lot of work.” They’re surprised to see just how easy it is — and how useful the lists are! I’m going to explain how to create your own Interest Lists in a second, but first I want to explain why you may want to create them.
Facebook uses an algorithm to determine which Facebook content is most relevant to you. They aren’t the only ones doing this, by the way. When Google returns search results to you, it’s also using an algorithm that not only looks at your search terms, it also considers what you’ve searched in the past, which websites you visit most frequently, and what your friends have written that may be of interest to you.
But let’s get back to Facebook. Essentially, Facebook assigns a weight to the type of content a page uses for updates (like text, photos, or links), it also assigns a weight to how you interact with that content (for instance, Liking, commenting, or sharing). The idea is that the more you interact with a fan page or certain types of content, the more it shows up in your news feed. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case and you may not see the updates you want to see. That’s why you need an Interest list!
Creating Your Interest List
You can create an Interest list to keep track of updates from the Pages you like. I created an Interest List called — wait for it — Pages I Like. Here’s how you do that:
- Scroll down your left sidebar until you see Interests.
- Mouseover the word Interests and click the More link. Your news feed changes to show you any lists you subscribe to or that you’ve created. In this case, you probably don’t see much if you haven’t created an interest list before.
- Click the +Add Interests button at the top of the page. The news feed area changes to show you a list of interests.
At this point you have two choices: You can find lists to subscribe to, or you can create your own list.
If you want to find existing lists to subscribe to, start typing a topic you’re interested in in the search box. Facebook shows you lists that others have created related to that topic. If you find one you want to keep up with, click the Subscribe button. Now that list shows up under Interests in your left side bar.
If you want to create your own Interest List follow these steps:
- Click the +Create List button. A dialog box appears.
- In the left sidebar of that dialog box, you can click on any of those links and Facebook gives you some ideas that you may want to include in your list. The top two choices: Pages & Friends show you only Pages you currently like and people you’re connected with on Facebook. The other categories show you pages related to those topics, even if you haven’t actually Liked that page yet.
- To include a page or friend in your list, just click on the picture associated with them and click Next. The dialog box changes to show your Interest list settings.
- Give your list a name and decide who can see it. You can choose from Public, Friends, or Only Me depending on how public you want your list to be.
- Click the Done button. Now this Interest list appears in your left sidebar under Interests.
Facebook Tip: Each time you Like a fan page, choose Add to Interest Lists (and put it in the appropriate list) as shown below. That way, when you click on the Interest List in your sidebar, the new page is included in those updates. You can also be sure you choose to have the page Show In News Feed (this is usually checked by default, but you just want to confirm).
Add Your New Interest List to Your Favorites
To add your new Interest List to your Facebook Favorites, mouse over the word Interests in your left sidebar and click the More button. Click the pencil next to the list you want to move to Favorites, and choose Add to Favorites from the pop-up menu. You can do this for as many lists as you like.
From now on, if you notice that you’re not seeing many updates from the fan pages you Like or the topics you’re interested in, you can click the name of your Interest List and the news feed changes to show just the updates from the items included in that list. So, for instance, when I click my Pages I Like list, I only see updates from the pages I like. I like having that control so I don’t miss content!
Facebook Tip: A great thing about Interest Lists is that others can subscribe to them if you choose to publish them Publicly or to Friends only. I’ve created a few lists you may want to subscribe to:
- Blogging & Social Media Conferences
- Blogs About Blogging
- Financial Bloggers on Facebook
- Social Media Favorites
Please leave a comment with a link to your favorite interest lists! If you have a suggestion of a page or pages for me to add to one of my lists, leave a comment with a link to the list. Thanks!