Facebook has announced the launch of Interest Lists, a new feature designed to help users curate the content of Pages and public figures in which they’re interested. The service promises to deliver the top posts from each interest group (list) in the user’s newsfeed.
Over the coming weeks, users will see “Add Interests” appear in the left-hand sidebar on their newsfeed. Users can also create lists from “Create List” in the “Interests” page.
In a blog post about the announcement, Facebook describes the new feature:
Interest lists can help you turn Facebook into your own personalized newspaper, with special sections—or feeds—for topics that matter to you. You can find traditional news sections like Business, Sports and Style or get much more personalized—like Tech News, NBA Players, and Art Critics.
Interests feature public figures and Pages related to a particular topic, and are put together by people like you. The top stories from each interest appear in your news feed so you can scan interesting headlines or click through to read more posts.
Interest Lists are, of course, similar in concept to Google+ Circles, though they are limited to curating content from public figures and Pages. The emphasis from Facebook is definitely on building B2C relationships with this launch, rather than personal ones.
Facebook’s lists might also be compared to paper.li, more popular over on Twitter, though Facebook’s rendition incorporates the content into your newsfeed. It’s the next step in Facebook’s attempt to increase their already staggering $3.1 billion annual advertising revenue by putting brands front and center in the lives of users.
If Interest Lists have not been rolled out to you yet, clicking on a list link will simply direct you to your newsfeed. Similarly, it seems you can’t see which lists people are following until the feature is available to you. Once you’re able to view Interest Lists, you can see which lists people you have friended or subscribed to follow in the same area as their Subscriptions.