Don’t Lose Page Updates: Facebook Interest Lists

I’ve seen a rash of complaints lately on Facebook pages that I follow, about how Facebook has been throttling the number of subscribers who see a page’s updates, basically blackmailing page owners into paying to “boost” their posts to increase their audiences. Facebook has been doing this for a while, so I don’t know if the problem has gotten worse recently, or if people have only just begun to notice it.

At any rate, I’ve been thinking about making this post for some time, and kept dismissing it as a silly idea. But given how often I’ve seen the above complaint recently, maybe it’s not so silly. So here it is. If you want to support a page that you like (by making sure you see its updates) then put it in an interest list, and encourage your friends who also like the page to do the same.

Pages I Watch

Facebook automatically gives you a couple of default interest lists, one of which is called “Pages I Watch”. You can get to it from the sidebar; I’ve circled it in the screenshot below. It’s like a more focused page feed (the other default list is called “Pages and Public Figures”, which I think is a feed for people you follow, but didn’t friend). I don’t remember how it’s initially populated, but you can use it to keep track of pages whose updates you especially don’t want to miss, or pages that update relatively infrequently and tend to get lost in the noise. The “See All” link (also circled in the screenshot) will give you a popup where you can see who’s in Pages I Watch, and lets you edit it.

PagesIWatch

Click on an icon to add or un-add a page (if it’s added, it has a blue checkmark). You can also add people that you follow, or friends, if you want, though I don’t.

AddToPages

And that’s it. When you want to see your watchlist, then click through from your sidebar, either on your computer or on your mobile device. If you don’t follow a lot of pages, then you’re done, and you can stop reading now. But if you do follow a lot of pages, or have a lot of different types of interests, then you can also make (or follow) customized interests lists. Read on….

Creating an Interest List

If you hover to the right of “Interests”, you will get a link that says “more”. Click on that to get to a list of your Interests. Click on “Add Interest” to add a new list.

AddInterestList

The Add Interests page gives you a search bar. If you type in a keyword like “salsa” or “multo”, you’ll get a list of other people’s public interest lists with that keyword that you can follow; lists you select will be added to your sidebar. Or you can hit “Create List” to create your own interest list. I’m creating a list called “Multo Things” for pages related to the interests that I blog about: mostly the pages of other ghosty or folklore related bloggers, writers, and interest groups.

CreateInterests

The “Create List” button will give you a popup of pages to select from. Again, you can also add people you follow, or friends.

AddingToInterestList

When you’re done, the next popup lets you name the list (again), and pick its privacy settings.

Namelist

Et voilà! As with Pages I Watch, there are controls at the top of the list to let you manage list privacy, membership, and notifications. Oh, and by the way, Pages I Watch defaults to private,  as you would hope.

Multolist

I can’t claim that lists let you see every post from a page; I suppose you could test that by regularly comparing what ends up in your watch list to what you see if you visit the page. I haven’t bothered. I do know that posts show up in the lists that don’t show up on my regular newsfeed, so lists do help. And while not everyone likes interacting with public posts, if you don’t have a problem with that, then do try to like and comment on what you see, and share the posts, if appropriate. The “engagement” helps makes the post look more interesting, and more likely to show up in other people’s feeds as well. The page owners will be grateful.

And now back to your regularly scheduled Multo blog….

2 thoughts on “Don’t Lose Page Updates: Facebook Interest Lists

  1. I’ve almost completely given up on facebook. It’s just for a few friends abroad that I occasionally login. I am definitely one of those people who feels like they are missing many posts. Barely anyone appears anymore and it just looks as if they same 3 or 4 people pop up. I’ll have to take a gander at the interest lists.

    • Yeah — if you want to see anything beyond what FB puts in front of you, you have to work at it: friends lists, interest lists, close friend notifications… Of course, I think most people don’t bother, so the flip side is that even if you take the trouble to do these things, your friends may not be, and so they don’t see you…

      Google+ has not proven a viable option, at least for me. Twitter works for a lot of people, and I like it okay, but the FB model (or the Platonic ideal of it) works better with my work/leisure/browsing style. I don’t think of WordPress as a social network — though they are clearly trying to scoot a bit in that direction — but it’s also been a nice way to chat with people I wouldn’t otherwise have “met”, like you.

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