: There is some truth to that statement. As the story goes, some person at google came up with the idea of circles back in 2007 or 2008. They gave a presentation about the idea, and it is still publicly shared on the internet. That person left google for facebook, and introduced the idea to them. Facebook thought facebook groups would be a better idea, and implemented them, followed soon by Lists. The problem with their implementation was that it wasn't a core part of facebook. You didn't need
to set up lists or groups to function on facebook.
Meanwhile, knew that facebook wouldn't change their core, and continued working on google+. Now, due to G+'s success, facebook wants to popularize the idea again, and is making it easy for people to create lists by creating them automatically.