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How You Can Use Facebook Both Personally AND Professionally


I’ve heard it time and time again … people saying they ONLY use Facebook personally (for family photos and high school friends) or professionally (networking and articles). But, honestly, with a little extra time – you can use it in both ways without anyone ever knowing the difference.

It’s called Lists.

How to Make a List:

If you haven’t yet made a list, it’s pretty simple. Login to Facebook. Click on Account/Edit Friends. At the top you’ll see a link for “Create a List”. You’ll name the list and then start adding people to the group (you can edit this at any time).

It’s All About Exclusion:

Now here’s the key. This isn’t a list for people you want to INclude. It’s a list of people you want to EXclude. Facebook doesn’t allow you to post a picture and choose the list you want to share it with. Instead it lets you post a picture and choose the group you do NOT want to share it with. So I don’t have a List called “Family”. I have a list called “Others” (yes, not very thoughtful, but I’m the only one who sees it!). I also have a list called “Non-Gaming” for times I want to play a little Frontierville but don’t want to spam my wall with requests for food.

I started off by creating my lists and then going through and editing my Friends list – adding people into the groups they belonged in. And now, every time I accept a Friend request (or initiate one), I automatically assign them to the lists as part of the process.

Using Your Lists:

Now that you’ve got your lists set up, and people assigned, you can use them whenever you upload a photo, post an update, or even use a request for a game. Here’s how you do it:

  • If you’re in a Photo Album, go into “Edit” and select “Privacy”. If you are creating a status update, click the little padlock and scroll down to “Customize”.
  • This will open another pop-up.
  • From there you’ll see a section called “Hide this from”.
  • In that field, enter your list name.
  • Click “Save Setting” and you’re good to go!

Yes, it’s an extra step (and something to remember) whenever you’re on Facebook. But it saves the hassle of figuring out how you want to use Facebook, or even setting up two accounts to maintain.

Note: If you use a mobile device you probably won’t have the ability to exclude lists. One option (especially with mobile uploads) is to log on via your browser and change the Mobile Uploads album to exclude the lists you choose. Then every time you upload another photo, it will be only available to those people you wish to see it.


  • Kate Dickman

    I still think it’s frustrating to be on your mobile phone and update anything (photos, status updates etc) in general and not be able to control who sees it and/or type something only to then realize you haven’t restricted it. Despite these List options being available, I still think that using Facebook both professionally and personally is hard unless you are constantly wanting to remember who to exclude each time you post.

    I remember back in the day where it was much easier. I could actually block certain people from seeing my status updates in general but they could see everything else on my wall…. now if you do that, Facebook makes it so that they cannot see your wall period. It makes it quite obvious that you’ve blocked them from seeing everything. Overall, I don’t think it’s very conducive to supporting the separation of personal vs non-personal. I’d rather have inclusion lists than exclusion.

    • Anonymous

      Kate, I do agree. It would be much easier (and more intuitive) to include people than exclude people!

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