Facebook mimics Google+ with revamped friends lists

Chase Kell
September 15, 2011
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Begrudgingly forced to recognize Google+ as official competition, the brass at Facebook seem to have done more than simply take notice.

Facebook recently unveiled its revamped friends list, an upgrade that closely resembles the "circles" feature introduced by Google+.

The smart friends list will allow users to group their friends into categories such as acquaintances, close friends, work colleagues, etc. The upgrade should be available to users by the end of the week.

A few of the new smart lists such as family, work, school and city will be automatically created. Users will be able to create their own custom lists and populate them by adding and removing friends manually.

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Each list will implement its own news feed, as is the case with the circles on Google+. You will be privy to everything posted by those in your close friends list, while other lists such as acquaintances will only reveal important postings - location changes or relationship status updates.

Smart lists appear to be a direct rip-off of the circles feature, but as PCWorld explains, a recent blog post from Facebook's Blake Ross reveals the smart friends lists are simply improvements to the friends list feature that has existed for years.

In fact, Facebook seems to have one-upped its competitor by automating most of the smart lists. Users will not have to add someone to a list/circle every time they make a new connection, and the "suggestions" feature should make it easier to add new connections to the appropriate lists.

Since its limited beta launch in June, Google+ has generated more than 25 million users, becoming a legitimate Facebook contender with features such as circles. Allowing you to easily organize friends, circles provides a hybrid social media experience - users can follow your profile (Twitter) while you share things with friends or specific groups (Facebook).

(Photo: screengrab PCWorld)