PSA: Facebook's 'Close Friends' list will notify you of status updates, stalkers hitting 'Like' | webOS Nation

PSA: Facebook's 'Close Friends' list will notify you of status updates, stalkers hitting 'Like' 11

by Derek Kessler Sat, 09 Jun 2012 5:31 pm EDT

Facebook's 'Close Friends' list notifications make playing Big Brother that much

Late last month, Facebook started pushing harder for users to add people to their 'Close Friends' smart list, something intended to help Facebook figure out which people you want to see most in your News Feed (personally, we'd prefer Facebook stop trying to decide what it thinks will be important to us, but we're cranky like that). The push involved a big banner at the top of the desktop site that prompts users to "star" friends onto the Close Friends list, an initiative they've been slowly rolling out across their userbase. We'll admit to not using the desktop site all that often (or Facebook anywhere, for that matter), but just yesterday we hopped onto Facebook, got the prompt, thought "why not?", starred a few friends and family, and called it a day.

That is, until later that night when we started getting notifications for mundane status updates that had nothing to do with interactions with ourselves. "Mary Jane uploaded a photo", "Joe Schmoe update his status: "Tacos!" ", "Pat Chris checked in at Pete's Eats", and the like. It was confusing at first, until we realized that Facebook was serving us status updates for people we'd starred onto the Close Friends list .

Without having received any updates in several months, we're impressed that the webOS apps (both smartphone and tablet) handled the new us-free notifications without skipping a beat, including proper links to the friends and their posts (and any links within said post) with nary an issue. We're also somewhat amused by the in-your-face-ness of the updates, as it'll certainly make stalking keeping tabs on your friends easier, and yet possibly more annoying. We like our friends and all, but we're not sure we want everything they've done popping up on our phones as it happens all the freaking time. We're close, but we're not that close.

Thankfully, you can kill the notifications, but you have to go to Facebook's desktop site to do it. Load up you Close Friends list (it'll be on the left, possibly hidden under the More link), click on Notifications in the top right, and select Off. Alternatively you can click on the Manage List button just to the right of that, select Choose Update Types, and filter out the Likes and Game posts you don't want or need to see.


Yes, I know, some of you have been filling in your Close Friends list for a while now. I just did it yesterday. Nobody ever said anything, so sue me.

And yes, I'm considering abolishing my Close Friends list.I have some chatty friends, don't need the constant notifications.

Facebook doesn't seem to subscribe to the "if it ain't broke" model. The have 500 million users and tons of revenue but feel the need to keep things "fresh". I don't get it. Just keep making sure it work and folks will be happy.

Facebook's revenue isn't really that huge for having 800 million users. And they haven't figured out how to monetize mobile, where more and more of their traffic is moving.

I noticed that as well but didn't know why the change. Thanks Derek!

Thanks Derek! I've toyed with the idea of using it but know to stay away from it now...

Only a matter of time until the webOS Facebook app quits working altogether.

You must have missed the bit where Derek said that it "handled the new us-free notifications without skipping a beat".

I still wish I could like a comment in the app

you arent missing much facebook for wp7 just got this in the past few weeks

what about forbidding my friends to put me into their "close friends list". i don't want to be their "game", so everyone can receive a notification when i move my hand!!!!