What's new

How to Control Who Sees What on Facebook


One of the biggest challenges of managing your presence on Facebook is the ability to keep your personal and business lives separate. The first thing you?ll want to do, if you haven?t already, is to create a Fan or business page where you can post everything about your work life, and little about your private one.


Once you?ve put that in place, you can manage who gets to see what you?re doing.

Only Share with Certain People

When posting to your personal wall, look for the inline arrow below the update box. This is the ?audience selector? that lets you choose who will see your posts: Public, Friends, Only Me, and Custom. The default is whatever setting you chose last time. This is true for the places that don?t have the selector as well, like the Facebook App for iPhone. When you select Custom, a pop-up box offers even more choices. To include people, select from the dropdown list. To exclude or ?hide? people, type in either a person?s name or the name of a list you created. And remember ? when you post on someone else?s wall, they?re in charge of who sees the post.)

Create Control Lists

You can also create your own lists or custom audiences, where you can specify who can see your posts or who can?t. For example, you can create a business contacts list to exclude messages you post on your personal page.

Look for ?Friends? on your profile page. This list is organized as Close Friends, Acquaintances, Family and Restricted. People added to the restricted list will only see your Public content or any photos you?ve tagged them in.

To create a list of your own, simply click on the word ?Friends?, then the ?Create List? button. The shortcut is: facebook.com/bookmarks/lists. From there, you can select who will be included in the list.

Your lists will be visible under ?Friends? as well. These lists are useful for limiting who can see your posts and act as a filter so you can choose to read only the posts from the list you select.

Make It Private

For even more control, select ?Privacy Settings? from the dropdown on the upper right of your profile page, and then choose ?Custom.? Change your Profile and Tagging settings, as well as Limit the Audience for Past Posts. Work through each item in the list to make sure the settings reflect the level of privacy you want.

Image credit: Getty Images