How To Segment Your 'Friends' & Control Your Privacy Settings In Facebook

Jeff Berman
May 25, 2011

Increasingly, the line between using Facebook for personal purposes and business is getting blurred. Perhaps you initially started your Facebook account to socialize with friends and family but now you receive and solicit friend requests from business associates, vendors, other attorneys, etc. It's important that you understand how to setup friend lists to segment the various groups of "friends" in your account. Additionally, you should understand how to customize the privacy settings for each friend list so you don't grant access to your kids birthday party photos to your business colleagues.

Many people don't realize this functionality exists in Facebook. Others have found it difficult to setup. Below is a tutorial detailing the steps to take.

Friend Lists

Friend lists are a way to segment your list of friends on Facebook. Once you setup a friend list, you will be able to customize the privacy settings for each individual friend list you create. The benefit is that you can block wall posts or photos for example from your business contacts but still share these components with your friends and family.

First you will go to your Friends Page by clicking the "Account" drop-down on the top right of your screen and selecting "Edit Friends".

Next, click the "Create New List" button at the top of the page to create a new list. Type the name of your new list and then select the friends you'd like to include in the list. When you have finished, click "Create List".

You now have created a segmented list of your friends in Facebook.

Controlling The Privacy Settings For Your Friend Lists

Friend lists enable us to create different privacy settings for different groups of our friends. Now that you have created a friend list, we want to adjust the privacy settings for our list. To do this, you will click the "account" button and select Privacy Settings.

On the privacy settings screen that follows, you will select "Customize Settings" at the bottom of your privacy selections:

From this screen you will be able to customize the access to the various components of your Facebook account for each friend list. In order to do so, you will select the drop-down for a particular setting you want to edit, and click customize.

A selection box will appear where you can choose the individuals or friend lists you want to hide the information from. In order to block a friend list from the information you are editing, you simply need to type the name of your friend list in the box and then click save setting.

You can repeat the process for each of your settings and profile components. Understanding how to create these segmented lists and controlling your privacy settings allows you to take control of your Facebook profile information and the access your "friends" have to it. In my experience, this has allowed me to connect to business associates more openly and expand my networking circle.

For more detailed information on using friend lists and privacy control with friend lists, visit this help section Q & A on Facebook.

Jeff Berman
Jeff Berman, is co-founder of AttorneySync. "Properly marketing a law firm online is about producing relevant content that helps a prospective client understand your expertise and how you are able to help them. Finally, it’s about getting that content found by the people you are trying to help."
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