How to Keep People Separate on Facebook

by David Weedmark

Sometimes friends don't get along. Other times, like with friends and coworkers, you might not want them to get along. Using Facebook friend lists you can actually create a firewall between two or more groups of friends. You can keep coworkers separate from friends and family, or keep one side of the family separate from the other. The trick is to create two or more lists and then assign every Facebook friend to one of those lists. Whatever you share on Facebook, use only these lists. One group of friends will never see posts, likes or comments from the other group.

Creating Friend Lists

1

Decide how to classify your friends. The fewer groups you create, the easier it will be to manage when you add posts to your Timeline. You may want to separate friends from family, Democrats from Republicans, in-laws from outlaws, or coworkers from friends. Use whatever groups you wish.

2

Log in to Facebook and click the "Friends" link in the left menu of your home page. Your current friend lists are displayed. Facebook already provides you with "Close Friends" and "Acquaintances" lists but these are designed for your own news feed rather than what you share.

3

Click the "Create List" button. Type a name for a new list and click the "Create" button. This takes you to the list's news feed, which is still empty because there is no one in it yet. Click the "Back" button on your Web browser and create a second list. Repeat this again if you need additional lists.

4

Click the "Back" button again after creating your last list. Click the "See All Friends" button at the top of the page.

5

Hover the mouse over the "Friends" button beside the first name. Select one of your new lists for that person. Repeat this for every friend on the page, selecting the appropriate lists for that person. When you are finished every friend will be in one or more of your new lists.

Separating Content

1

Type a new post on your home page. Before posting it, click the Audience Selector tool located beside the Post button. Select one of your lists to share the post with. If you can't see it in the drop-down menu, select "See All Lists" to reveal it. It will be visible right away the next time you post something.

2

Click the "Post" button. Only the friends in that list can see the post. If anyone likes the post or comments on it, only those in the list will see this activity.

3

Type the same post again, or something worded differently if you prefer. This time, select the second list you created in the Audience Selector tool. Only this group of friends will see your second post and each other's comments.

4

Create a photo album for each group and use the Audience Selector tool to ensure only that group sees the photos and comments on that album. Like your posts, you can duplicate the content in each album if you wish.

5

Click the "Friends" option in the left menu of your home page and then click on one of the new lists to see a news feed limited to that group's posts. You can also add or remove people from the list on this page by clicking the "Manage List" button in the upper right corner.

Tips

  • You can prevent anyone from seeing who your Facebook friends are by clicking the "Friends" box on your Timeline and then clicking the "Edit" button in the upper right corner. Change each setting to "Only Me."
  • Remember that if you ever post something to Facebook using "Public," "Friends," or any other audience, both groups of friends will see it and will see each other's interactions.

About the Author

A published author and professional speaker, David Weedmark has advised businesses and governments on technology, media and marketing for more than 20 years. He has taught computer science at Algonquin College, has started three successful businesses, and has written hundreds of articles for newspapers and magazines throughout Canada and the United States.

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