What Interests You? Facebook’s New Interest Lists

The Wall, The Newsfeed, The Ticker, The Timeline.  Facebook is constantly updating, changing, and making things “better”.  Well, different, anyway.

Their newest “addition” is called “Interest Lists”, and they are a “whole new way to keep up with stuff you care about and tidy up your experience on Facebook.”

Now, you have been able to organize your contacts into lists for some time, and you can control what gets shared with which list.  But this is different.  This is going to affect how we consume information, not contribute.

Facebook Interest Lists allow you to group content by category, for easier viewing.  Interest lists can contain both People and Pages, and can be created by anyone, for any topic.  Facebook feels that this will create a better flow of information and allow us to see the content that is most important to us.

But, what does it do for my brand?

Great question, and at this point there is no clear answer.  It is a great way for you to create lists around your business, and for people to look at your business as a thought leader.  Check out this example list, by Jon Loomer, called Facebook Marketing.

This could also help your EdgeRank score, as long as you are generating engaging content (if appropriate, make sure to include your company on the list).  After creating the list, make sure to share it with your friends and followers.  And, of course, make sure the list is public so that others will find it should they search on the topic your using.

But, the major downside to creating and using these new Interest Lists, is the fact that when a brand or person is put on a list, they are not notified.  There is no way to tell if you are on one right now.  In addition, if someone subscribes to a list that your business is on, they would have no reason to visit your Facebook Page to “Like” you for updates.  The updates appear right within the “Interest List”.  The other side of this is that your status updates may be seen by more people that have never heard of you before, thereby increasing your reach.

Why create these lists? 

Facebook will have you believe that these lists will streamline and enhance your Facebook experience.  After all, you will see only the information that “interests” you.  I’m just not so sure.  As of now, I get most of my news from friends and family from my newsfeed.  In addition, that is where I follow brands that I am interested in and enjoy connecting with.  I don’t want to go through the trouble of switching between the news feed and the interest lists.  It’s not convenient, and I may miss something that is important.

So, what is your take on these new Interest Lists?  Will you use them?  Will you create any?

Author:

Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you.  He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line.  EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business.  Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107.

Sources:

About Craig Yaris

Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you. He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line. EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business. Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107 .

Comments

  1. Thanks for the comment, Jon. It will be an interesting development to watch. I’m still not sure what I think of them, and I’m probably not using them to their fullest.

    I do like your theory that it’s best not to be notified, although I would like the opportunity to share a list, should I be put on one. Thoughts?

  2. Whoa! A pleasant surprise to read your post and see a mention of my list in it. Thanks, Craig!

    It will be interesting to see whether Interest Lists have a positive impact, negative impact or no impact at all for marketers. It really all depends on whether or not users (non-marketers) embrace it.

    And for the record, I LOVE that we aren’t notified that we’re on a list. It makes it much more sincere. Get followed or added to a list on Twitter or Google+, and there are often motives (hoping to be followed back). Create a list with some well-known people on it who will never know they are on the list, and you’re doing it to create value.

    Thanks again, Craig!

  3. Craig,
    You are raising a very important issue here. In fact, it is one that I had heard about recently. I have a slightly uncomfortable feeling about all of this because there is an undertone of social profiling. I have heard that decisions will be made for us about what we want to know. I do not like that at all.
    I felt that way when I first signed up for facebook. I noticed I was being sent suggestions about people I might know or like based upon my profile and people I had already friended. So I purposely did things that are ‘out of character’ so that I could not be pigeon-holed.
    I do not like gated communities. I do not like being only with people that are just like me or like only what someone has decided that is within my preference or character to like.
    I am with you. I have a more than slightly uneasy feeling about all this. Facebook is becoming VERY powerful. The irony is that China has banned facebook because of their fears of freedom and free thinking. I think if they really knew the direction facebook seems to be headed in the Chinese government would put out the red carpet for it.

    • I don’t know if I believe in the pigeon-hole theory, so much so that I would act differently. As Popeye said, “I am what I am”. That is what helps Facebook help me find things that are interesting to me.

      I just want to make sure that I don’t miss what really interests me, because Facebook doesn’t think I’m interested.

      And as a marketer, I don’t want my clients to miss opportunities, simply because of a Facebook decision.

      Just my 2 cents!

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