Facebook Really Wants You To Create Friend Lists

Word has it that Facebook is testing a feature that encourages users to create friend lists.

If I had a dime for every person who complains about privacy on Facebook and doesn’t have any friend lists, I’d be rich.

So anything Facebook could do to get more people to create friend lists seems like a win-win for all involved. Only five percent of the site’s membership actually uses this feature.

Now a Facebook spokesperson just told me via email, “we have nothing to announce,” after I asked for confirmation of whether the company is actually testing so-called smart lists.

The phrase smart lists shows up at the top of this new test feature appearing within the privacy settings and the area where you can post content for distribution in the news feed.

Like the screenshot to the right illustrates, the test feature suggests that the user create lists of coworkers, classmates and people living nearby.

Encouraging people to create lists goes hand in hand with the recent relocation of the privacy settings to the area best known for inputting status updates and links.

Those of us who already have friend lists — I have 16 of them — have yet to see anything resembling a test of this nature. Perhaps if a feature goes live, it might suggest groupings of people that aren’t yet part of a list.

Message to Facebook: If you suggest additional friend lists to people who have them already, make these suggestions based on what people have in common rather than the names of existing lists.

Readers, have any of you seen these smart lists?