05/16/2014 12:24 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

If You Want Fewer Facebook Friends, This App Will Help

Oli Dunkley/Flickr

Despite what your Facebook profile might indicate, it's pretty unlikely that you have hundreds (or thousands) of friends who you desperately want to stay in touch with. In fact, if you've been on Facebook for a while, chances are you've amassed a collection of strangers you couldn't even pick out of a crowd.

If you're ready for a little social network spring cleaning, there's a recently released Facebook app called Duster that may do the trick.

Developed by Carter Wheatley and Adlai Gordon, two computer science students at Boston University, the app connects to your Facebook account and combs through your friends list to pick out the people you haven't been interacting with lately.

Essentially, the app tries to find the Facebook "friends" who are friends in name only.


Duster provides a scrollable list of casual acquaintance, giving you the option either to "Hide" them from your News Feed (hidden friends will never know they're hidden) or to "Dust" them altogether (the app's euphemism for defriending).

Of course, just because you forgot to wish someone happy birthday on Facebook doesn't mean you want to hide or unfriend them. This is Facebook we're talking about, the place where we stalk our friend's walls closely but our enemies' walls even more closely.

You may rather get a root canal than sit down for a meal with that old high school acquaintance who turned out to be an Obama birther, but that doesn't mean his status updates aren't immensely entertaining.

That said, we all probably have some non-entertaining non-friends who are worthy of the boot. Just make sure you're cool with burning those bridges before "dusting" anyone. Nobody likes to be unfriended.

[h/t Yahoo Tech]