Facebook ‘Interest Lists’ feature could be another challenge to Twitter

Facebook appears to be testing a new “Interest Lists” feature that allows users to view a filtered version of News Feed similar to how Twitter Lists work.

Currently, Facebook users can create lists to organize their friends, but there hasn’t been an option to group pages. This sorting feature makes sense for the platform as people begin to use Facebook to follow more pages and subscribe to public figures. News Feed is less useful when it’s a mix of posts from loved ones, news outlets, brands and celebrities. Interests lists seem to address that problem, while taking away another advantage Twitter has over Facebook.

We noticed an “Add to Interests” option Wednesday morning when Timeline for pages first launched, but it has since been removed. The feature was available from the drop-down menu beneath the cover photo on pages that switched to the new design. Jason Keath, founder of Social Fresh, says he saw a version of the feature called “Add to Interests Lists.” After clicking the link, he was prompted to start a new list “to see a special News Feed of related posts.” He says the “New List” link did not work at the time he tested it, and is no longer available on any pages.

Facebook did not confirm the existence of Interest Lists. “We are constantly testing new products and features, but we have nothing more to share,” a spokesperson says.

It is unclear whether Interest Lists will be able to include subscriptions and friends in addition to pages. We also wonder whether these lists will be able to be shared publicly. Twitter lists can be public or private. Public lists can then be followed by anyone. On Facebook, people used to be able to display particular friend lists if they wanted to, but this is no longer an option with Timeline.

Having already come to own the “social graph,” Facebook has been aggressively pursuing the “interest graph” — the relationship between people and topics. Many have pointed to Twitter as beating Facebook in this area, but with the subscribe feature and future interest lists, the social network is gaining an edge.

Image credits to Jason Keath at Social Fresh.


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