How to Artfully Cull Your Facebook Friends List

By: Stephanie Crawford  | 

Tips for Managing Your Facebook Friends List

With a few tips, you can manage your Friends list on Facebook. These can help you control both the list itself and which friends can see what information:

Set up rules for who makes the cut. You may already have some ideas of why you accept certain friend requests and ignore others. Put some thought into what rules you want to follow to make that determination from now on. You'll want to use these rules as a guide when culling your current list.


Group friends into custom lists to avoid a one-size-fits-all approach. You can create additional lists that are subsets of your existing Friends lists. Use these lists to filter certain content, either in individual posts or in your overall privacy settings. You can create and manage these lists on the Friends management page while you're signed in to Facebook. You're the only one who can see the titles and users in your custom lists.

To create a custom Friends list, go to your home page. You should see your feed on the right and a menu on the left. On that menu, click Friends, which might be hidden under See More. Select Custom Lists and then Create List. Name your list and hit Confirm before entering the names of the friends you want to add. You can edit the list and remove or add new names when you want. /\r\n/

Use built-in or custom lists to set your default privacy levels. When you edit your overall privacy settings, you can customize the settings for each type of content you share, from photos and feed posts to the individual items in your profile. By default, you can select from the following options for each item: Everyone, Friends Only and Friends of Friends. You can apply your custom Friends list by selecting Customize instead, choosing specific people that should or shouldn't be able to see that content and using the names of your lists in place of individual people.

Limit content from the feed. There are a few ways to hide content from your feed. On individual posts, you can click the three-dots menu along the right side and hide the post. You will still see other posts from that person. You can use that same menu to snooze a person for 30 days or to unfollow them. If you snooze them, you will see their posts again after the time period. If you unfollow them, you will still be friends, but you won't see their posts on your feed anymore. 

Use your custom lists to filter content as you add it. Look for the lock icon when posting status updates, links, photos, videos or any other content. You'll also find the icon when editing settings for each photo album. Facebook doesn't indicate to other users that you have limited the content; it only shows it or hides it based on the filter. Then, like in the default privacy described above, select Customize and use your custom list names to choose who will be able to see that content.

Limit that "left out" feeling. Because Facebook is all about social networking, it's possible that word will get out about something you said to one friend that another couldn't see. Have a plan so you can respectfully handle any questions that arise, and remember to stick to your rules.

Consider preventing certain people from finding you. Facebook gives you the option to block certain people from finding your Facebook account, and, at the same time, block you from seeing their content.