Warning: Facebook Lists aren’t as private as you think

facebook friend listsFacebook recently unveiled a revamp on its Lists feature. Taking a page out of Google+’s book, the site has turned a little more focus toward curator user privacy and encouraging its users to have a hand in doing that by helping the site fill its Smart Lists as well as creating their own.

The update has made Lists far easier to use, and also revealed a few changes to how the site’s News Feed works. Like the Google+ Circles, you now have dedicated streams for each of your Lists–Close Friends, Acquaintances, Family, Work, etc. We did note when originally covering this launch that users would know they were part of a list. As Facebook put it:

“If you choose to share with one of your default lists (Close Friends, Acquaintances, Restricted) or a custom list, the people on that list will be able to see the other people included on that list; however, they won’t be able to see the name of that list. If you choose to share with one of your smart lists, the people on that list will be able to see the name of the list.”

We immediately thought this was a little strange: Why do people need to know what list they are on–or that they are on one at all? With Circles, you’re notified that someone has started following you, meaning they’ve added you to a Circle, but that’s basically the equivalent of friending you. So we were obviously a little mystified but couldn’t quite put our finger on what the embarrassing fallout from this could be.

Until now. Listen up, List users–unless you want to publicly out how you think of all your Facebook friends. If you don’t use lists exactly as they are intended and labeled, you might be sending some very embarrassing notifications around. For instance, if you decide to add your significant other and their family to your Family list, be aware they are going to be notified you think of them as such. Which has its own weird drawbacks. 

Also, seeing as people can see everyone else on your default and custom lists when you choose to share with them, it might not be very difficult to deduce what type of list they are on. You might want to take that into account when choosing to segment your friends. Why your personal Lists are anyone else’s information, we’re still uncertain.

FacebookWe’re also not huge fans of the dedicated News Feeds’ showing how many updates are coming from each. It’s turning out to be more work: We understand it’s to help you see the important things you’re missing via that ever-changing main stream, but some of us are pretty content skimming over it all.

And one more thing: If you are going to use these lists, we suggest immediately turning off the feature that sends you a notification every time one of your Close Friends does something on Facebook. Facebook explains how here

Social Media

Facebook says it unintentionally uploaded email contacts of 1.5 million users

Facebook says that over the last two years it unintentionally uploaded the email contacts of 1.5 million users as they signed up to the social networking service. The process has ended and the email addresses are being deleted.
Movies & TV

Did I really watch that? Here's how to delete your Netflix viewing history

Everybody has some skeletons in their streaming closet, but you don't have to live with them if you don't want to. Learning how to delete your Netflix viewing history is easy, and we're here to help.
Gaming

Have an issue with your 3DS? We can help you fix it with these common solutions

The Nintendo 3DS has seen its fair share of issues since it launched in 2011, including poor battery life and fragile Circle Pads. Here are some of the most common, as well as the steps you can take to solve them.
Movies & TV

Best new podcasts for the week of April 6, 2019: Voices of the Movement and more

Feel like you’re drowning in podcasts? In this weekly series, we’ll help you pick out the best of the new and returning shows. This week’s picks include a hunt for a serial killer, cougars that sometimes get a little too close, and…
Social Media

Looking to officially rid your inbox of Facebook messages? Here's how

Deleting messages from Facebook Messenger is almost as easy as scrolling through your News Feed. Here, we show you how to delete an entire conversation or a single message, both of which take seconds.
Social Media

LinkedIn: Now you can express love, curiosity, and more with new Reactions

LinkedIn is following in the footsteps of Facebook (three years later!) with the rollout of new reactions that give users more ways to express themselves when responding to posts in their feed.
Social Media

Twitter’s experimental Twttr app is even more popular than the real thing

Twttr, the new app that lets regular Twitter users test new features, is proving more popular than the main app, according to the company. The revelation suggests some of the innovations may land for all Twitter users soon.
Social Media

Messenger and Facebook, together again? Facebook tests integrating chats

Longing for the old days where Facebook and Messenger were one app? Facebook is testing an integrated chat option. While Messenger remains more feature-rich, the test brings some chat functionality back into the Facebook app.
Social Media

How to download Instagram Stories on iOS, Android, and desktop

Curious about how to save someone's Instagram Story to your phone? Lucky for you, it can be done -- but it does take a few extra steps. Here's what you need to know to save Instagram Stories on both iOS and Android.
Social Media

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp went down worldwide for 2 hours this morning

Chaos erupted on the internet this morning, as Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp all went down from 6:30 a.m. to approximately 9 a.m. Thousands of users were unable to access the sites or send or receive Whatsapp messages.
Mobile

Skype screen sharing for mobile will let you share your swipes on dating apps

Skype is prepping the launch of screen sharing for mobile so you can share your swipes on dating apps, shop with buddies, or, perhaps, show a PowerPoint presentation to coworkers. It's in beta just now, but anyone can try it.
Social Media

Facebook toys with mixing Stories and News Feed into one swipeable carousel

Facebook's News Feed could look a lot like Stories if a prototype the social media giant is working on rolls out to users. The design change mixes Stories and News Feed posts into a full-screen slideshow that users swipe left to navigate.
Social Media

No more moon showers as Facebook Messenger’s dark mode gets official rollout

Facebook Messenger launched a dark mode last month, but to activate it you had to message the crescent moon to someone. Now it's been rolled out officially, and it can be accessed in a far more sensible way — via settings.
News

Twitter has revealed a launch date for its handy hide replies features

Twitter has revealed a launch date for a feature that lets users hide replies to their tweets. The hope is that it will help the original poster filter out offensive or irrelevant content from conversation threads.