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How to turn Facebook Friends into Acquaintances

Ever wished you could get rid of those annoying updates that some of your Friends insist on posting to Facebook? You know the ones – the constant location “check-ins” and the slightly too upbeat comments about what a wonderful time they are having. Of course, you could always delete the more irksome Friends but you don’t want to risk offending them. You just want to filter out the more mundane stuff, so your news feed is a little less tedious.

Well, in a move that will make you scratch your head and ask ‘Why didn’t they think of that before?’ Facebook has come up with an update to its lists tool that allows you to do just that. It has created an Acquaintances category, which doesn’t alter an individual’s status as a Friend but instead consigns their updates to a secondary news feed buried elsewhere in your Facebook account.

Facebook pulls no punches in defining the Acquaintance category, calling them “Friends you want to see less of in News Feed.” It will even suggest certain people for your Acquaintances List, explaining that “you haven’t interacted lately with these Friends.”

But Facebook makes sure that your moves to downgrade certain Friends will be discrete: “When you add friends to your Acquaintances list they won’t be unfriended or notified,” writes Facebook engineer Jonathan Coens in a blog post. “You’ll just see fewer of their posts in news feed.”

If you can think of a few Friends that might qualify for the Acquaintance tag, then here’s how it works:

  • Sign in to your Facebook page and then go to your Friends List page. (You can also get there by going to your Home page and clicking on the Friends header on the left-hand side. You may have to click on the More button to reveal the Friends header.)
  • From the Friends List page, click on Acquaintances. Here you will see Facebook’s suggestions for Acquaintances. Just click Add next to the person’s name and photo or use the box to type in names of Friends that don’t appear in the suggestions list.

And that’s all there is to it. No longer do you have to see what your husband’s second cousin had for dinner last night or where your old roommate stopped on her way home from work. Facebook says you will still see important updates like relationship changes but everything else will be consigned to a separate news feed only accessible through the Acquaintances page.

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