Boy, I hate just stumbling without warning on the demise of a favorite feature….
I was a big fan of setting up Facebook Interest Lists of the Pages run by Tourism Currents clients and prospective clients. Such lists meant that I could click one link on my News Feed left sidebar, see all the latest posts from a certain group, and Like/Share/Comment on each one as appropriate.
It was an easy way to keep in touch with folks, stay visible to them, and give their posts a little algorithm help, too. It was smart business. We showed people how to do it all the time in our social media workshops for tourism.
Now, it looks like Facebook is removing the Interest List feature. I discovered this when I went to confirm the list setup process – in case it had changed, as things do – and I couldn’t find the “Add a List” feature on my News Feed left sidebar any more.
It’s also buried in this post about changes to Facebook metrics and reporting:
“Interest Lists – Follower Counts.
Interest lists are a way to organize and view content on Facebook. Given low consumer usage of interest lists, we have decided to retire this feature, [emphasis mine] which will result in a drop in the total number of followers for profiles that created interest lists or were featured in lists. There are two reasons for this: 1) For people that created or were featured in an interest list, profile follower counts include the followers of the interest list; 2) People can follow someone from a profile and through an interest list, which means a profile’s follower number could double count that person. This update does not impact News Feed distribution or Page Insights. The impact to profile follower counts will vary, depending on the number of interest lists the profile created and was featured in. Most profiles will see a drop in followers of less than 5%.”
I am NOT happy about this; it was super-handy to be able to show a CVB, DMO, Chamber of Commerce, or Main Street organization how they could see tourism partner Facebook updates all in one place.
This is another reminder that Facebook controls Facebook, not you, so don’t get too fond of any of its features.
—->> Update December 2016 – First, I’ve found that I can still see my old Interest Lists, but only on mobile, in the Facebook app on my phone. I can’t see the list of List members, but at least I can see the latest updates from them. It’s all gone from my desktop.
Second, thanks to suggestions from the comments on this post, I’ve been experimenting with adding Pages to a Facebook Friend List. The Friend Lists are supposed to be for grouping together certain people/personal profiles. You find them in your left sidebar. Facebook may have already auto-created some for you, with names like Family, or ones with people from your high school or college. When I created a new Friend List, it would not let me add a Page to it unless I had at least one person already in it. So far, this has worked for me. Since I can still see my Interest Lists on mobile, I’ll try to re-create them as Friend Lists as quickly as I can before they totally disappear.
Update August 2018 – they’re removing the Facebook Friends List feed feature – your lists don’t go away (you can still share updates only to people on certain lists) but you won’t be able to look at a feed with only updates from people/brands on a list any more. It’s all to drive you to the central News Feed so they can serve up ads to you there.
(If you like this post, please consider subscribing to the blog via RSS feed or by email – the email signup box is on the right sidebar near the Search box. Thanks!)