Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world, with roughly 2.91 billion monthly active users as of the fourth quarter of 2021.
Facebook has helped individuals who live away from family and friends to connect easily. It also has a range of innovative features, like allowing users to request and accept friends, share updates and personal photos, and direct messages.
With so many people using Facebook and its communication features, it’s no wonder we all have so many friends on Facebook. However, although the average Facebook user has 338 friends, they only consider 28% of their friends to be genuine or close friends.
With that in mind, you probably don’t manage friends on Facebook all in the same way when it comes to privacy and what you’re comfortable sharing with each of them.
As Facebook continues to grow more complex as a social network, its privacy settings continue to expand. In this article, we’ll share our favorite tips to manage your friend lists and privacy settings on Facebook.
On Facebook, How Do You Hide Your Friends List?
It’s often convenient for your Facebook friends list to be public because it can help people find and connect with you. However, there may be situations in which you’d like to limit who can see your Facebook friends list. You may be asking, How do I hide my friend list on Facebook?
Here’s how you can restrict who can see your entire friend list using Facebook’s privacy settings.
- Open Facebook in a web browser and log into your account.
- Click the downward-pointing arrow at the top right of the webpage.
- From the dropdown menu, click “Settings & privacy,” then click “Settings.”
- From the next menu, click “Settings.”
- In the pane along the left side of the page, click “Privacy.”
- In the section called “How people can find and contact you,” click “Edit” next to “Who can see your friends list?” then click “Edit.”
- Click the downward-facing arrow to reveal a dropdown list of options. You can choose: “Public,” “Friends,” “Friends except…,” “Specific friends,” “Only me,” or “Custom.” Custom lets you enter specific names. After adding a specific person, click “Save Changes.”
On Facebook, How Do You Send a Friend Request to Someone?
If you want to add a friend on Facebook, you need to send them a friend request. Once you do and they’ve accepted the request, you’ll be able to see each others’ posts, post on each others’ walls, exchange direct messages, and more.
Here’s how to send a friend request to someone on Facebook:
- Open Facebook in a web browser or the mobile app and log into your account.
- Open the profile page of the person you want to add. You may need to use the search feature along the top of the page to find the Facebook name of the person you want to request.
- Once you’ve found the person you want to request, click or tap their name to open their profile, then click or tap the “Add Friend” button. The person you requested will receive a notification that you’ve sent them a friend request, and they can accept (or deny) it.
Facebook Won’t Let Me Send a New Friend Request to Someone
Although one of Facebook’s goals is to connect people, it does limit how many friend requests you can send and prevents you from sending the same request over and over.
Facebook recommends only adding people you know personally as friends on Facebook. Here are a few reasons you may not be able to add someone as a friend:
- The person may have not accepted your friend request yet. You may have already sent them a friend request. Click here to check if the friend requests you have sent are still pending.
- You or the person you want to add may have reached the friend limit. Facebook has a limit of 5,000 friends. To add more, you must change your personal page to a Facebook Page. Otherwise, you must unfollow one of your current friends before you send a new friend request. Alternatively, you can follow the person instead, which allows you to see their public posts.
- You or the person you want to add may only be able to get friend requests from friends of friends. You or the other person will need to adjust your privacy settings.
Can I Block a Friend on Facebook Without Them Knowing?
There may be times when you want to stop all interaction with someone on Facebook. Facebook provides ways for you to do this: blocking and unfriending.
When you block someone on Facebook, they will no longer be able to do things such as tag you or see things you post on your timeline. By default, Facebook doesn’t notify the other user when you block them.
The only way they would know you’ve blocked them is if they attempt to visit your Facebook page. You can easily unblock them later if you choose.
Unfriending someone is a more permanent option for separating yourself from someone on Facebook. When you unfollow someone on Facebook, it removes you from that person’s friend list. The person will not know that you’ve unfriended them. If you want to be friends with this person again, you’ll need to add them as a friend again.
If I Don’t Want to Block Them, How Do I Unfollow Someone in Facebook?
Sometimes, you don’t want to block a person, but you’re not interested in seeing all of their posts. Whether you just want to unclutter your feed or you’re not interested in hearing Aunt Flo’s political views, unfollowing someone is an easy way to remove them from your feed.
When you unfollow someone, they remain in your friends list, but you won’t see their posts when you’re scrolling through your news feed.
There are three ways you can unfollow a person or group on Facebook: from a post, from the person’s or group’s profile page, or from your News Feed Preferences. You can also re-follow people or groups you have previously unfollowed.
Speaking of Following, How Do I See Who Is Following Me on Facebook?
You have more than friends on Facebook, you also have followers. While your friends may be many, your followers are your real fans. You might ask, How can I see who follows me on Facebook?
You may want to know who is following you on Facebook. Perhaps you have a business you are trying to grow, you are trying to increase your social media footprint, or are simply curious.
Finding your followers is easy on both desktop and mobile. Just follow these steps:
From a web browser:
- Open Facebook in a web browser or the mobile app and log into your account.
- Click your profile pic to open your profile page.
- Beneath your profile pic, click Friends.
- Under the Friends section, click the More dropdown to the right.
- From the dropdown list, select Followers to view all your Facebook followers.
From the mobile app:
- Open the Facebook app and log into your account.
- Tap your profile picture icon to load your profile.
- In the profile menu, tap See Your About Info.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page. Then under Followers, tap See All to load a list of all your Facebook followers.
- Look to the top-right corner of the page (opposite Followers) to see the number of people that follow you on Facebook.
How Do I Control Which Facebook Friends See My Posts?
There may be times when you don’t want to go as far as blocking or unfriending someone, but you want to prevent them from seeing your posts. Facebook provides several ways to fine-tune who sees your Facebook content by using Facebook’s Privacy Settings. Below is an overview of how to do this, and you can find more details here.
- From a web browser, log into your Facebook account.
- Along the left side, click Friends.
- Click Create List.
- Enter a name for the new list.
- Click the Add Friends button and add friends to the list, then click Save Changes.
Now apply the list to your Facebook posts.
- When you create a new post, next to your profile pic, click the dropdown arrow
- Select “Friends Except…” and select the list you created
- Submit your post and it will be visible to everyone except the people in the list you created.
- Note that Facebook remembers your last setting, so all future posts will retain this setting until you change it again.
I hope you found this information useful. If you have additional tips or experiences related to managing your friend lists and privacy settings on Facebook I’d love to learn about them, so post them in the comments.