As an entrepreneur and small business owner, I rely on Facebook to connect with customers, share updates and drive engagement. But like anyone, there are times when I want to limit what certain connections can view and interact with on my profile and page.
Facebook‘s "Restrict" tool allows you to do just that, without fully disconnecting from the person. Used strategically, restricting can help entrepreneurs safeguard privacy and curate a more focused audience.
In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll share insider tips to restrict someone on Facebook for personal and professional use based on my experience as a consultant to small business owners.
What is Facebook Restrict?
The Facebook Restrict tool lets you control what another user can see from your profile. When you restrict someone:
- They can only see your public posts, not posts shared with friends/groups.
- They won‘t get notifications about your activities.
- They can‘t view your friends list or any posts you‘ve liked.
- You won‘t show up in their People You May Know recommendations.
- They‘re unable to comment on or react to any of your posts.
In essence, restricting removes someone from viewing your private timeline content without deleting the connection. They can still message you if your settings allow.
How is Restrict Different Than Blocking or Unfriending?
Restrict limits profile visibility but maintains the connection. Blocking prohibits all interaction and severs the relationship. Unfriending simply removes them from your friends list.
For entrepreneurs, restrict prevents personal posts from being visible to professional connections you still wish to keep in touch with. Unfriending may offense close contacts. Blocking is best reserved for harassment or security issues.
When Should You Use Facebook Restrict?
Restricting unnecessary access to your profile can be beneficial in many cases:
- Limit contact with ex-partners while maintaining cordial relations or co-parenting.
- Prevent oversharing with colleagues, distant acquaintances or new connections.
- Reduce unwanted interactions from people who constantly react to or comment on your posts.
- Focus visibility of business updates only to targeted demographics like local customers or engaged followers.
Customize restrictions based on each specific connection and what level of access you deem appropriate. Don‘t arbitrarily restrict without reason.
Step-by-Step Guide to Restrict Someone on Facebook
Restricting a Facebook connection is quick and easy to do:
- Click the down arrow in the top right and choose Settings & Privacy.
- Select Settings from the left menu.
- Click on Blocking in the left menu.
- Scroll down to the Restricted List and click Edit List.
- Type in the name of the person to restrict and click their name.
- Click Done once complete.
- Tap the three lines at the top right to open the menu.
- Scroll down and choose Settings & Privacy.
- Tap on Settings.
- Scroll down and tap Blocking.
- Select Restricted List.
- Tap Add to Restricted List.
- Type their name and tap it when populated.
- Tap Done to apply restrictions.
Once restricted, that user will only see your fully public posts moving forward.
Customizing Audience for Individual Posts
You can also restrict someone without adding them to the Restricted List by customizing the audience for each post:
- When writing a post, click the audience selector (globe icon).
- Choose a limited audience like Friends, Close Friends, or a custom group that excludes the person.
- Click Share and the post will only be visible to the selected audience.
This allows you to strategically restrict certain posts without limiting their access to your entire profile.
Managing Your Restricted List
Edit the restricted list anytime to remove or add people:
- To unrestrict, follow the same steps and remove the checkmark next to their name.
- You can bulk remove contacts by selecting Edit List > Remove All.
- Add new connections to restrict by selecting Edit List, typing their name and saving changes.
People won‘t get notified when you restrict or unrestrict them. The only indication is if they attempt to view hidden profile content.
What are the Effects of Restricting Someone?
When you restrict a Facebook friend, here‘s what they‘ll still have access to:
- Your public posts and profile info.
- Any posts you tag them in.
- Groups you have in common.
- Ability to message you (if your settings permit).
They won‘t be able to:
- See posts shared with friends, close friends or custom lists.
- View your most recent profile pictures or covers photos.
- Get notifications about your activities or posts.
- See your comments or posts you‘ve liked.
- View your friends list or People You May Know suggestions.
- Comment on or react to any of your posts.
How Does Restriction Affect Facebook Messenger?
Restricting someone on Facebook does not automatically restrict them on Messenger too. To limit messages, you must manually restrict them in the Messenger platform separately.
When Messenger restricting someone:
- You won‘t get notifications from their messages.
- Their messages go to your Message Requests folder.
- They can‘t view your active status or when you‘ve read messages.
- Video calling and voice calling will be disabled.
So Facebook and Messenger restrictions must be handled individually based on your preferences.
Should You Notify People That You Restricted Them?
People are not notified if you restrict or unrestrict them on Facebook. The choice of whether to proactively tell them depends on your specific relationship:
- For casual connections or acquaintances, notification is generally not necessary. Simply restrict their access.
- For closer friends or prominent business contacts, consider politely explaining your reasons for restricting if you feel it requires context. This can help avoid hurt feelings or confusion.
- Never notify someone about being restricted with hostile intentions, like wanting them to know they are blocked. This will only breed negativity.
- If the restricted person is harassing you or making threats, do not engage with them in any way. Immediately block them and report them to Facebook. Your safety takes priority.
What to Do If Someone Gets a Restriction Notification
If a restricted person tries to view your profile content, they may get a notice saying "Post Unavailable" or "Cannot see this content because it is restricted."
There‘s no need to worry or take action if this happens. Simply ignore the notification, as they cannot see the restricted content anyway. Removing the person from your Restricted List will again grant them access to view your profile fully.
How to Use Facebook Restrict for Your Business
For entrepreneurs and business owners, restricting can be an effective way to segment your audience and control visibility of personal vs professional updates.
- Limit personal posts from being visible to customers and professional connections by restricting them.
- Prevent clutter on your business Page by restricting personal friends from commenting on company posts.
- Reduce notifications by restricting people who actively engage with every post so your other content gets more visibility.
- Focus visibility of promotions or special offers only to local customers by using custom post audiences.
As with personal use, be thoughtful about who you restrict and why. Find the right balance between privacy and transparent engagement.
Key Takeaways to Remember
Restricting connections on Facebook allows deeper control over your profile content without fully disconnecting from the person. Keep these tips in mind:
- Restrict to limit someone‘s access to your private timeline posts without unfriending them.
- Customize post audiences to strategically restrict content visibility post-by-post.
- Block for complete removal. Unfriend just to remove your connection.
- Notify close contacts about restricting if it requires context, but avoid hostile confrontation.
- Ignoring restriction notifications is perfectly fine if received by the other user.
- Mindfully apply restrictions to balance your privacy and engagement on Facebook.
With the right approach, restricting users can help entrepreneurs and anyone on Facebook manage their boundaries and connections successfully.