We all have those friends – the ones that post status updates continuously throughout the day, overwhelming your news feed with pictures of their breakfast croissant, pictures of their dogs, their grocery list, and the latest viral videos. You like this friend and want to stay in touch, but you’re just not interested in every single detail of their daily life.
Here’s an updated method for keeping someone’s updates off your news feed. You’ll still share your updates with these friends if you choose, but you also have an easy way to restrict sharing on a case-by-case basis.
(This is an alternative to the information found here for “Distancing yourself from a Facebook friend without Unfriending”).
What is a Facebook List?
Facebook lists are an “optional way to organize friends so you can control what you see in your News Feed and post updates to specific people”. Facebook gives your three ready-made lists.
- Use the Close Friends list for friends who should show up more in News Feed.
- Use the Acquaintances list for friends who should show up less in News Feed.
- Use the Restricted list for friends who can only see posts and profile info you make public. (More about the Restricted list here).
The nice thing about these lists is that your friend will NOT know if you have added them into one of these lists. You can also create custom lists.
Here’s how to add a friend to your Acquaintances list (so you’ll see fewer of their annoying posts.)
On the Desktop version (viewing Facebook in a web browser on your computer):
1. Go to your friend’s timeline page by clicking on their name.
2. Hover over the Friends button and choose “Acquaintances”. You’ll now see an icon next to the word “Friends”, which indicates that this friend is on your Acquaintances list.
Mobile version (using the Facebook app on a mobile device):
1. In the Facebook app, first go to your friend’s timeline. Click the “Friends” button and you’ll see the following choices appear: Unfriend, Unfollow, or Edit Friends Lists. Click “Edit Friend Lists”.
2. Select “Acquaintances”. Then click “Done”.
Once done, you’ll no longer see MOST of your friend’s updates on your News Feed. I say most because Facebook decides what you see and what you don’t see. In my experience, using the Acquaintances list greatly reduces the number of posts you’ll see from a friend. And you can still see their updates if you visit their profile, or click on the Acquaintances list feed. You can find the feed on the left side of the page on desktop. On mobile, click “More” in the bottom-right of the app, then scroll down to Feeds and choose Acquaintances. If you don’t see it, click “More” or “Feeds”.
Limit what your Acquaintances see when you share
Optionally, if you prefer not to share with your acquaintances, you can limit the audience of your status updates. You can do this when you are sharing a status, link, photo or whatever.
1. First click on the sharing button (mine says “Custom” but yours might say “Friends” and hopefully not “Public”).
2. Then choose “Friends except Acquaintances”. If you don’t see that option, click “More Options”.
If you are on the mobile version, you have the same options but it looks a bit different.
1. Click “Friends” (or whatever audience you use by default) and then you’ll have some choices. If you don’t see them click “More”.
2. Then select Friends; Except Acquaintances and then click “Done”.
Hope these instructions help you stay sane amidst the daily litany of over sharing. Try using the Acquaintances list and the other built-in lists in Facebook to see if it makes your social media experience a bit more bearable!