Are You Using Your Interest Lists?

Facebook recently introduced a new feature, Interest Lists.

According to Facebook, “Interest lists can help you turn Facebook into your own personalized newspaper, with special sections—or feeds—for topics that matter to you. You can find traditional news sections like Business, Sports and Style or get much more personalized—like Tech News, NBA Players and Art Critics.“

Interest Lists are displayed on the left hand side of the home page. The goal is to reduce information overload and organize your news feeds.

What Are Interest Lists?

The Interest Lists gives Facebook users a free flowing news feed experience. Think of it like a personalized newspapers within Facebook. The concept is similar to Twitter Lists and Google+ Circles. Depending on the privacy settings of specific Interest Lists, users can choose, organize and subscribe to news feeds.  A user can choose to subscribe to broad lists such as Social Media News, or that user can create his or her own list and choose to make it private or to let others subscribe to it.

Facebook says this is a separate product from Friends Lists, but users can add friends to their interest lists. Friends will not receive notifications if they have been added to an Interest List. With this new Interest List feature, users will also be able to add people to their Interest lists without needing to send a friend request.

What Do Interest Lists Mean for Brand Pages?

Interest Lists may help brands get more exposure and traffic to their Pages. However, only the top stories from Interest Lists will appear in news feeds, and users will still have the option to read the other hidden stories.

Currently, Interest Lists can only be created by individuals. As more people discover the list feature and organize the brand pages they follow, there will competition among businesses to be included on Interest Lists. Hopefully, Facebook will extend the opportunity to business Pages to create their own Interest Lists.

As the administrator of a business Page, the best way to avoid being lost in the land rush of Interest Lists is to continue to frequently post interesting content on Facebook. Make sure that your company page is always relevant and well represented in Interest Lists.  Ask your fans to include you in one of their lists.

As an individual, because Lists are so new, there are still opportunities for you to create unique public lists. Consider Lists as a way to position yourself as a expert in your field. By actively reviewing and commenting on the businesses you add to your Lists—and reminding others to subscribe—you will stay top-of-mind.