Facebook Introduces Interest Lists [UPDATED]

By David Cohen Comment

Borrowing a bit from Pinterest and Twitter, Facebook introduced its own interest lists feature, curated by users and assembling posts from public figures and pages under specific topics.

Facebook Software Engineer Bob Baldwin described the new capability:

It’s a way to create (and subscribe to) feeds of pages and public figures you like. The part that I built is the new like and subscribe buttons. Now, when you like a page, the like button will change to a “liked” button and show you a menu of your interest lists (before it refreshed the whole page and the button disappeared). This matches the new subscribe button.

Facebook users can also create their own lists, decide where their content comes from, and choose whether to allow other users to subscribe to the lists, or keep them private.

Interest lists now coexist with favorites, the bookmarks in the left-hand column of the homepage.

Any interest lists you subscribe to will appear as a subset of your favorites, on the left-hand column of the homepage. Interest lists you subscribe to will send content into your news feed as well.

Facebook Software Engineer Eric Faller said:

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.

Interests feature public figures and pages related to a particular topic, and are put together by people like you. The top stories from each interest appear in your news feed so you can scan interesting headlines or click through to read more posts.

In the coming weeks, you’ll see the add interests link in your left-hand bookmarks. When you do, you can subscribe to lists on almost any topic. For example:

If you’re a San Francisco 49ers fan, subscribe to the NFL Teams interest list for a gridiron-focused feed — no need to check on each team in the National Football League, your favorite athletes’ profiles, and ESPN.

If you’re into politics, subscribe to the 2012 U.S. Presidential Candidates interest list to see updates from all the campaigns, or get posts from major news outlets like CNN, Fox, MSNBC, and The Wall Street Journal.

Don’t see a list for one of your interests? Make your own lists to organize your favorite content or help others discover new topics. Just go to the Interests page, and click Create List. Choose to let others subscribe to your new list, or keep it private.

Readers: Will you take advantage of Facebook’s new interest lists feature?