How to Artfully Cull Your Facebook Friends List

By: Stephanie Crawford  | 
frustrated laptop user
Do your Facebook friends have you pulling your hair out? Check out our tips for getting your Friends list under control.

Facebook makes it easy to build your social network — sometimes too easy. With very little effort, you can end up with an unmanageable Friends list. Over time, though, you might want to trim your Friends list to do any or all of the following:

  • Eliminate bloat in your feed.
  • Avoid posts that are inappropriate or offensive.
  • Dodge posts covering certain religious or political views.
  • Limit your information to a more restricted group of people.

Whatever your reasons for pruning your Friends list, you have a few options, whether you want to cut people altogether or limit which friends see certain information.


Before you start culling, decide whether you want to notify your friends. One option is to not say anything about your plan and start cutting. Alternatively, you might choose to announce your plans in a status update or a personal message to everyone in your Friends list.

If you don't announce your plans, people might not notice the change unless they view your profile. This is because Facebook doesn't notify users when you remove them from a Friends list. You might decide to announce your plans, though, to prepare yourself for questions from those who do notice the change. Here are some tips for composing such an announcement:

  • Be tactful and consistent with your message.
  • Choose wording that doesn't make your friends feel awkward. Don't say, "I just have too many friends," or "I don't like your posts." Try a more diplomatic approach, such as, "I am having difficulty keeping up with all my connections on Facebook."
  • Explain that this is what you feel you need now, though it might not be how you feel in the future. Don't say, "I just don't want to follow some of you anymore." Say, "I've changed how I want to use my Facebook account right now, which means I'll be cutting back on the number of people I'm following."
  • Consider including an option to request staying connected, or offer alternate contact information such as your e-mail address or phone number.
  • Ask a couple of trusted friends (whom you're planning to keep on your list) to read the message and give you feedback before you post it.

With your plan in place, you should also consider how to cull your Friends list and how to limit the information someone can see.