Facebook has begun testing a slew of changes to the News Feed, including friend list filters and Smart Lists that automatically categorize your friends.

The changes seem to be aimed at making the content within the News Feed more relevant. These changes, show that Facebook is dividing the News Feed into lists, much like Google+ has done with Circles. “Feed filters make it easy to see a selected set of friend’s updates in one place and share exclusive with them,” Facebook’s guide to the new feature states.

One of the most interesting aspects of the revamped News Feed is the addition of Smart Lists. Smart Lists automatically sort your friends into a work list, a list for classmates and a list for friends who live within 50 miles of your city. This makes it easy to post updates just to your college friends or to talk about a local party with just your nearby friends.

The changes are likely to be construed as a response to the rise of Google+, whose Circles feature makes it easy to share content with smaller groups. Facebook has always had Friend Lists as a feature, but less than 5% of users use them in any meaningful way. These changes are designed to fix that.

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