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Facebook simplifies friend grouping with "smart lists"

(Xinhua)

15:36, September 15, 2011

BEIJING, Sept. 14 (Xinhuanet) -- Facebook unveiled a new feature called "smart lists" on Tuesday, giving its users an easier way to share photos, posts and updates with smaller groups of friends.

The new function, which commences on Wednesday, borrows from the success of the Circles feature of Google+, which allows users to categorize friends into groups.

With the new feature, Facebook can automatically put your friends into groups, with the first four being work, school, family and city, based on the information of colleges, workplaces and geographic locations in users' profiles.

The feature is optional to use, and the lists are customizable.

"This is really something we have been working on for four years," Facebook director of product management Blake Ross told AFP, adding "We think this is the way people will make lists going forward."

In the meantime, the social networking site has also come up with "close friends" and "acquaintances" options.

People can read the updates of their "close friends" more prominently in their news feed and just big news of their "acquaintances", according to Naomi Gleit, the director of product at Facebook who worked on the new feature.

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