Social networking users who have massive digital collections of friends create subsets based on relationships, interests, activities and locations. This effort to categorize one's social networks is referred to as social network filtering.
Historical perspective: In 2011, social network filtering received a major boost with the introduction of Facebook’s ‘Send’ button. A plugin for third-party websites lets users share a page as a post to a Facebook group, send a message to specific Facebook friends, or send as an email. Now, instead of ‘Liking’ a page and having it show up on the wall for their entire social network to see, consumers can compartmentalize information and the people with whom they share. The Facebook ‘Send’ button can help drive engagement and purchase by making it easier for people to send recommendations, questions and more to subsets of friends. These smaller social networks can become group planning, sharing, shopping and collaboration circles. Brands can help create and reward these groups, encourage discussion and gather important, real-time feedback.