For people with 250 or more friends, the Facebook (News - Alert) News Feed can grow to overwhelming proportions. To clean up their screens, many people purge distant friends and acquaintances from their Friends list.
Facebook engineer Jonathan Coens suggests placing these friends on the Acquaintance List rather than removing them altogether. Facebook will still show major milestones that occur for people on the Acquaintance List, like moving to new cities or relationship changes. However, placing people on the Acquaintance List will mean that their status updates and incessant posts of inspirational quotes will show up much less frequently in your News Feed.
To make it simpler to clean up your News Feed, Facebook has made it easier to send some of your friends to the Acquaintance List. To access the tool, go to your Friends list, select the Acquaintances list, and click “See All Suggestions.” Facebook will choose friends with whom you’ve had minimal interaction and will allow you to place them on your Acquaintance List en masse. If you want to keep a friend in your News Feed, even with low interaction, simply uncheck the friend before adding them to the Acquaintance List.
Of course, the question remains about whether it is worthwhile to become friends with distant acquaintances, anyway. According to research by NM Incite, 82 percent of people friend others because they know them in real life. The second most popular reason for friending someone was because they shared mutual friends.
Reasons for removing friends included making offensive comments (55 percent), not knowing the person well (41 percent), trying to sell them something (39 percent) and depressing comments (23 percent). “Research suggests that real-world interactions drive online friendships,” NM Incite said. “Meanwhile, sales-oriented and depressing comments help drive friend removals.”
Still, many people express hurt feelings when they find that they’ve been purged from someone’s Friend list, no matter what the reason. According to Coens, the Acquaintance List provides the perfect solution.
If you want to see certain people’s information more often, simply add them to your Close Friends list. Your News Feed will be less crowded, and you’ll have more information concerning the people that you care about.
Edited by Rich Steeves