Friend Lists

By Mark Slee on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 at 2:53am
Good luck finding borders like this on the site today.Good luck finding borders like this on the site today.When Facebook first launched in February 2004, there were three important things that you could do on the site. You could create a profile with your picture and information, view other people's profiles, and add people as friends. The site also featured ugly dotted borders and strangely aligned labels. Back then, the site was only available at Harvard, so "friends" was really something more like "friends currently attending Harvard."

Pretty soon, more schools were added. So "friends" became "friends at some colleges." Later, we added support for alumni email addresses and high schools, so "friends" became "friends that have something to do with some kind of school." After we had those up and running, we bought a bunch more servers, opened Facebook up to the world, and learned that buying servers is easier than finding a nice place to keep them what we refer to as, "not-on-fire."

Today Facebook lets us connect and communicate with people that we are connected to in all kinds of ways — friends from school, family members, long-lost high school sweethearts of yesteryear, and weird people. They're all here.

This all begs the question... what does being friends with someone on Facebook mean today? We pondered this for a while, played some Bogglific, lathered, rinsed, repeated, and then decided that there just wasn't any single right answer.

What lists will *you* create?What lists will *you* create?So instead, we've built and launched Friend Lists. The new Friends page lets you create named lists of friends that you can use to organize your relationships whichever way works best for you. These private lists can be used to message people, send group or event invitations, and to filter updates from certain groups of friends.

This is just a start. Expect to see lots of new Friend Lists features in 2008 that will give you more control over the information you share on Facebook and who you share it with.

Mark Slee, an Engineering Manager, is making a list, checking it twice...