Customize who can see your Facebook status updates

Ever wish that only certain friends could see your status? Facebook makes it possible, if you know where to look.

Facebook status updates don't have to be an all-or-nothing proposition. You can decide who gets to see a particular update -- or, if you prefer, who doesn't.

For example, suppose you were invited to a neighbor's Super Bowl party over the weekend, and you want to post an "awesome party!" status update. However, you're FB friends with some other neighbors who weren't invited, and you don't want them to feel bad. Ideally, you'd hide your update from that handful of friends, but allow everyone else to see it.

On the flip side, suppose you're planning a winter-camping outing with a group of buddies. You want to share a status update ("I bought the beans! Who's bringing the beer?"), but only with them.

Facebook makes this kind of selective status-updating easier than you might think. Here's how:

1. Enter your status update, then click the little padlock icon next to the Share button.

2. Choose Customize.

3. If you want your update to be visible only to select friends, click the menu next to These people and choose Specific People. Then, enter the names of the FB friends you want to include.

4. If you want to block your update from specific people, type their names in the Hide this from field.

5. Click Save Setting, then click Share to publish your customized update.

It's too bad Facebook doesn't give you a selector for choosing the people you want to inclue/exclude, or let you set up "status-update groups." Still, at least you have the option of being more, well, selective about who sees which updates.

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