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Is there any way to create a group of people who can't see any posts in my profile except for what I explicitly share with them, without being forced to make those posts public to the entire world?

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I haven't tested this, but since the new lists feature, you are able to share your statuses with different groups of people.

When I share something, how do I choose who can see it?

Before you post, look at the audience selector. Use the dropdown menu to choose who you want to share a post with.

...

Custom (Includes specific groups, friend lists or people you’ve specified to include or exclude)

Taken from this help page.

So,

  1. Create your list
  2. Go to Privacy settings
  3. Choose Custom as your default option
  4. Choose Friends from the Make this visible to drop-down list
  5. Insert the above created list in the Hide this from field
  6. Click Save Setting

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Now the default visibility for your posts will be Friends without the persons in the above created list (Custom), so they will not see your usual posts.

  1. To include them also, click on the "audience selector" button (the one at the left of Post) and choose Friends
  2. To post only for them, click on the "audience selector" button (the one at the left of Post) and:
    1. Click on See all lists...
    2. Click on the respective list(s)

enter image description here

However, please note that the persons in the respective group will see each other's names if they click on the post's sharing icon.

enter image description here

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I have tested it and it works as expected. You can also change the permissions later at any point of time. –  Sathya Oct 18 '11 at 4:02

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