In its continued push for more meaningful interactions on its platform, Facebook Inc. is rolling out a new feature that will allow for more personal posts from users.

The new feature, called Lists, will allow users to create and post personal lists as a status update. In an attempt to fill the news feed with more personal posts, rather than viral videos and news articles, users will be able to use the new feature to post lists about anything they choose, including New Year’s resolutions, books they love, restaurants they want to try, bucket list items and more.

Similar to how users create other status updates, they will be able to create custom lists with colored backgrounds and emojis. The new feature has also been designed so that they are shareable and friends can copy a list and share it together with their own opinions.

The feature is rolling out to both Android and iOS users as part of a slow global rollout. Facebook has not said how long it will take for all users to receive the new update.

The Lists feature is merely the latest move by the social media giant to encourage less nonpersonal content on a user’s news feed. According to Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s priority this year is to make sure the site is “good for people’s well-being,” though he has conceded that this change may mean users spend less time on the platform.

Facebook changed its algorithm earlier this year to “prioritize posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people” while demoting public posts from businesses and publishers. The company changed things further late last month when it announced that it would prioritize local news sources over national and international outlets.

The platform is losing young users at a rapid pace, according to new estimates by eMarketer Inc. In 2017, the research firm found the demographic of 12- to 17-year-olds declined by 9.9 percent or about 1.4 million users. Over the course of 2017, eMarketer found some 2.8 million U.S. users under the age of 25 left the platform.  

EMarketer has also predicted that 2018 won’t fare much better for the search giant. It predicts that the platform will lose 2.1 million more younger users in the U.S. Despite the decline, eMarketer predicts overall U.S. audience growth for Facebook over the next few years.

Meanwhile, Facebook-owned Instagram is predicted to grow by 13 percent this year, to 105 million people, and Snapchat will grow by 9 percent, to 86.5 million, according to eMarketer.

How to use the Lists feature on Facebook

Update to the latest version of the Facebook app for either Android or iOS. Since this update is happening as part of a staged rollout, if the below steps aren’t visible yet, you will need to check back to see when Facebook updates the app for you.

To post a List to your Facebook News Feed, open the Facebook app > tap on the “What’s on your mind?” box. At the bottom of the screen, you will see the usual options, like Photo/Video, Tag Friends, Check In, Go Live, etc.

Note: If you don’t see these options, tap the “Add to your post” option to expand the menu.

If your Facebook app has been updated with the new feature, you will see a “Lists” option. Tap the Lists option to create a customized list for your news feed.

You can customize your list with different background colors and emojis. When you are happy with your list, tap the Share button in the top-right corner.

Like any status update, your list will be shared on your Facebook News Feed for all your friends to comment on and respond with their relevant reactions.  

Image: Mike MacKenzie; Flickr

 


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