Recently Facebook faced reality and made some overdue changes that have some people freaking out. Unlike other changes that sparked complaints, this time the people upset are coming from the regular Facebook user base and the Facebook Page operators that have built the marketing parts of their companies and organizations on the idea that they will be able to use Facebook to reach people forever for free.
The fact is, there is more content on Facebook than the average human can view. This means filtering has to occur. In our daily lives we do the filtering ourselves. We decide which emails to answer, which text messages need an immediate response and which can wait, and we decide which of our family and friends we need to touch base with on a daily basis. The flood of information available to those of us who use Facebook has reached the point where decisions have to be made. It is understandable that Page admins and regular users resent that it is Facebook doing the filtering instead of the regular users who have Liked pages and Friended other users.
- The total number of Facebook pages is 54,200,000
- The average Facebook user has 130 friends
- The average Facebook user is connected to 80 pages, brands, events or groups
- Every 20 Minutes on Facebook there are 1 million links shared, 2 million friend requests, and 3 million messages sent
- The average time spent on Facebook per visit is 18 minutes
Think about that for a moment. In that average user’s 18 minute visit there is no way they can read all the messages and links and view the photos shared since their last visit. It Just Can’t Happen. Period.
And as satisfying as it may be to stamp our feet and complain about Facebook, this is all our fault. We are way too happy to Like a page for a brand we like, or a TV show, or local business, or our friend’s closet organizing side business. We see nothing wrong with reconnecting with friends from high school or past jobs or that dinner party we went to that one time. Facebook has given “Friend” a whole new meaning that is much broader and fuzzier than it had before. Think back to what “friend” meant to you when you were in high school and then ask how many of the people on your Facebook friends list would have fit the definition back then.
Most probably won’t… but that is not a bad thing. I know people on Facebook that I have never met in person and my life is much better… or at least more interesting, for having their statuses and photos appear in my news feed.
The good news is that you can keep your friends and still see all the latest Big Bang Theory stuff and your local Applebee’s specials all on your own terms using tools that are already built into Facebook.
If you operate a Page and want to really help your fans, share these techniques with your loyal followers. If they really want to see ALL of your updates, this is the best way to help them do that because, lets face it, techniques like this are not cutting it:
Too much information and too little time and screen real estate.
Facebook provides tools that allow users to create Interest Lists. Facebook has a short help page at How do I create my own interest list? but it is very general. Here are the steps to move your Liked Pages into Interest lists from your profile. These steps are based on using Facebook on the web. I would not try this on a phone or tablet.
Step 1: Load your Likes Page
Step 2: Switch to Other Likes
Some of your likes will be classified by type, but the bulk will be in the section labeled Other Likes so switch over to that view.
Hopefully you don’t have nearly a thousand pages to deal with like I did.
Step 3: Start Moving Pages to Interest Lists
This step shows how to create a new Interest list based on a Page you have liked.
Move your mouse over the Page and hoover over the Liked icon in its upper right corner. Select Add to Interest Lists.., then select + New List at the bottom and follow the steps shown here. When you create a list you must choose the privacy level for your list. These are purely a matter of personal preference so choose whatever you like from these three options — Public: Anyone can see your list and subscribe to it , Friends: Friends can see your list and subscribe to it, or Only Me: No one except you will be able to see this list or who’s on it.
After you have created the new list, Facebook will take you to that List’s page. You will need to use your back button to get back to your page list to proceed.
Step 4: Unlike the Page … if you want.
Now that you have this page on a Interest List you can use the first part of Step 3 to Unlike the page. This is optional, but if you skip this stage, the posts from that page may crowd out Facebook updates from family and friends since it will be competing for space in your News Feed.
Step 5: Keep going and going and going…
Repeat Steps 3 and 4 for each of the pages listed. As your Interest Lists grow it will be easier and easier to sort Pages into lists. Keep in mind that Pages can appear on as many Interest Lists as make sense to you.
Step 6: Organize Your News Feed
The top left of your News Feed contains your Favorites. Adding some or all of your Interest Lists to your Favorites will make them easier to visit. Browse to https://www.facebook.com/bookmarks/interests and use the icon to the right of the Interest List name to add it to your favorites.
Step 7: Enjoy your new improved News Feed
You can now use your personalized filtration system to read the news that you want from the people, companies, and organizations you care about whenever you want. This is what an Interest List view looks like in the current Facebook layout.
- For my own account, there were Pages that could not be located via the Likes section of my Profile. I was able to track some down via my Page Feed at https://www.facebook.com/pages/feed. You may need to do the same.
- If you have a lot of friends that can be sorted into categories like colleagues, family, kids from summer camp, and such, you can repeat this process with your friends and family via Facebook Friends Lists at https://www.facebook.com/bookmarks/lists. Just don’t Unfriend the people or they won’t show up in the lists. This will help ensure that you never miss an update from grandma or your middle school pen-pal from Bogata.