How to Create a Custom Facebook Friend List

If you have a lot of Facebook friends, use lists to keep them organized

An image of a woman looking at Facebook on a laptop.

Photo © VOISIN/PHANIE / Getty Images

According to a report from the Pew Research Center, the average number of Facebook friends is 338. That's a lot of friends!

If you'd like to share your status updates with select groups of specific friends for different reasons and occasions, then you're going to want to make use of Facebook's custom friend list feature. This feature allows you to categorize friends according to who they are and what you want to share with them.

Where to Find Your Custom Friend Lists

A screenshot of Facebook.com.
Facebook.com 

At this time, it appears that Facebook friend lists can only be created and managed by signing into Facebook on the desktop web and not via the mobile apps.

Sign into your account at Facebook.com in a web browser and click on the Friend Lists option in the menu on the far left side of your news feed. You might have to scroll down a bit past Favorites, Pages, Apps, Groups and other sections. You even have to click See More... at the bottom if you use a lot of other Facebook features.

Once you've clicked Friend Lists, you'll be taken to a dedicated page with all of your friend lists. By default, Facebook provides you with three basic lists: Close Friends, Acquaintances and Restricted.

You can also simply visit Facebook.com/bookmarks/lists to access your lists directly.

How to Create a New Custom Friend List

A screenshot of Facebook.com.
Facebook.com.

Now that you know where to find your lists, you can create a new one by clicking on the + Create List button at the top of the Friend List page. A popup box will appear asking you to name your list and start typing in friends' names to add them. Facebook will automatically suggest friends to add as you begin typing their names.

Once you've finished adding the friends you want to include in your list, click Create and it will be added to your list of friend lists. You can create as many friend lists as you want. Create one for family, coworkers, old college friends, old high school friends, volunteer group friends and anything else that might help you organize everyone.

Clicking on any list will display a mini News Feed of posts made by just those friends contained in that list. Click Manage List in the top right corner to edit your list, rename it or delete it.

From the Friend List page, you can also hover your cursor over any list name and click the gear icon that appears to the right of it to either archive the list (if there are friends in it) or delete the list (if there are no remaining friends in it).

Archiving a list means you won't be able to share posts with this list and you won't be able to see this list in the links on your homepage. You can however still see this list in your Friend List page and you can restore it any time you want.

How to Quickly Add a Friend to Any List

A screenshot of Facebook.com.
Facebook.com.

Let's say you forgot to add a certain friend to a list when you were creating it, or you just added a brand new friend to your network. To quickly add him or her to an existing friend list, all you have to do is hover your cursor over their name or profile photo thumbnail as it appears on one of their posts in your News Feed to display the mini profile preview box.

From there, move your cursor so it hovers over the Friends button on their mini profile preview, and then from the popup list of options, click either one of the top lists that appear first or alternatively click Add to another list.. A list of your current friend lists will appear so you can click on any of them to automatically add that friend to it. You can also scroll all the way to the bottom of your list of friend lists to quickly create a new list.

If you'd like to remove a friend from a list, simply hover your cursor over the Friends button on their profile or mini profile preview and click the list that you want to remove them from, which should have a checkmark beside it. Keep in mind that your friend lists are for your use only, and none of your friends are notified whenever you add or remove the from any lists you create and manage.

Now when you go ahead and start crafting a status update, you'll be able to see all of your friend lists when you click the sharing options ("Who should see this?") button. Facebook friend lists make it super easy to quickly share an update tailored to a specific group of friends.

Updated by: Elise Moreau