Today, Facebook unveiled a new feature to run alongside Subscriptions and Lists. Interest Lists, according to Facebook, are a “whole new way to keep up with stuff you care about and tidy up your experience.”
Interest Lists work like giant subscription packets, based on topics ranging from Art, Photographers, and Design to Food, Games, Pop Music, World Leaders, and more. Facebook hopes that they will turn the service into something like a newspaper with unique sections:
Interest lists can help you turn Facebook into your own personalized newspaper, with special sections—or feeds—for topics that matter to you. You can find traditional news sections like Business, Sports and Style or get much more personalized—like Tech News, NBA Players, and Art Critics.
Here’s how it works: First, you visit the “Add interests” page, where you’ll see tons of user-generated lists on all sorts of topics. From that page, you can subscribe to as many as you want. Each list can include pages and people – so for instance a list on food could include food critics, celebrity chefs, as well as pages for sites like CHOW and Food Network.
If you don’t see the list that you’re looking for or you think you could make a better, more inclusive list on a topic, feel free. Click “Create List” at the top and you’ll be able to take from a pool that includes your friends, your pages, and all the other pages our there (grouped by topic):
Once you subscribe to a list, they will appear on the left-hand side of the screen by your subscriptions, groups, apps, etc.
You can click on each of your Interest Lists to see a unique News Feed for each. It will show you all the updates made from every member of the list. Each list can only been edited by the creator but each list-maker has the ability to make their list public or private.
Although you can click on the Interest Lists to open up a separate News Feed, that doesn’t mean that you won’t see update from people in your Interest Lists in your main News Feed. “The top stories from each interest appear in your news feed so you can scan interesting headlines or click through to read more posts,” says Facebook.
As Facebook rolls this out over the next few weeks, an “Add Interest” button will appear in that left-hand bookmark section.
So, everyone: What does this sound like? Twitter lists? Google+ circles? You’d be right on both accounts. Although Facebook has allowed users to groups their friends and pages into Lists for awhile now, Interest Lists marks the beginning of shared lists on Facebook. Having user-generated subject lists that other can “follow” or subscribe to might be huge for Facebook.
But then again, back in 2010, Mark Zuckerberg said “In reality, almost no one wants to make lists.” So, there’s that.
What do you think? Can you see yourself using Interest Lists? Do you think that they pose a threat to Twitter and even Google+? Let us know in the comments.