Way to be creative Facebook.
Let’s create auto-populating Smart Lists of types of friends and then let you share things on Facebook privacy-wise by selecting which lists get to see it. Sounds an awful lot like Google+’s Circles. Essentially, it abandons the previous privacy scheme (half-networks, half-lists, a dash of degrees of separation) and adopts Google+’s successful Circles methodology.
Facebook does have a leg up though — people have to manually enter people into G+ circles. Facebook knows who is your college friend, your high school friend, grad school friend, organization friend, work friend, and geographically near friend. It’s created smart lists for me like iTunes makes smart playlists. To top it off, it’s got an algorithm for suggesting more friends to add to those lists … probably based on some hybrid of our interactions (e.g. wall posts, messages) and commonalities in our profiles (e.g. we both list the same high school).
It also has a Close Friends lists to combat the problem people like me have who use Facebook like it’s LinkedIn — lots of acquaintances (got its own Acquaintance list), few friends, fewer people you actually want to see updates from on a regular basis. And best of all, there’s the age-old restricted list to keep your boss from seeing your posts.
Clearly this shows just because you’ve been on the cutting edge of social networking doesn’t mean that you’ll be there permanently — or that you don’t get schooled by the new kid on the block. Facebook today reminds me of “something old, something new; something borrowed, something blue.”