Facebook To Organize Friends In 'Smart Lists'

Published On: Oct 02 2011 04:10:59 PM EDT   Updated On: Sep 14 2011 10:52:23 AM EDT

Beginning Wednesday, Facebook will make it easier to share photos, posts and links with smaller, isolated groups of people.

Facebook will automatically group your friends based on whether they live near you, went to your school or work with you.

You can read posts or share updates with specific groups instead of dozens, or hundreds, of ?friends? at a time. Facebook will use the colleges, workplaces and geographic locations that users share on the site to organize people into groups. Called ?smart lists,? the feature is optional to use, and the lists are customizable.

Listing people as ?close friends,? meanwhile, will ensure users to see the posts and photos from the dozen or so friends they might care about the most.

Updates from these people will feature more prominently in news feeds, and users can opt to receive email notifications every time they post something on Facebook.

Those categorized as ?acquaintances? will feature less prominently on Facebook pages, and users will see just big news, such as marriages and new babies.

The new lists tools will be available to all users by the end of the week and will be available via the mobile app soon.

The move is seen in response 'Circles' in Google Plus, which launched in June and has more than 25 million users. In 2004, it took Facebook 10 months to reach 1 million users.