From Inside Facebook word comes tonight that Facebook is reportedly creating a “Find Your Friends” browser that would let people find people they already know on Facebook…especially since Google won’t let Facebook tap into Google-hosted addressbooks anymore.
If you’re in the test group of users going to http://www.facebook.com/find-friends/browser/ would bring you to a special page to help you look for friends you went to school with, worked with, came from the same hometown, etc.
From Inside Facebook we have screenshots of what some of the filters and results look like:
From what we know you’ll be able to filter on your schools, employer, hometown, and the, probably more important “friends of friends”. Will this help users like me find a ton of new friends? Probably not. New users? Probably so.
What we have is now the chance for a brand new Facebook user to suddenly be able to find a lot of their friends more quickly than the address book model or a search, hunt, scroll, search plan. From all the “People You May Know ” data that you see on the sidebar I think it’s a safe bet that Facebook is really trying to help people to connect with all the people they know on Facebook.
The open question is: why?
What’s the larger play for Facebook? Is it to have lots and lots of content? Lots and lots of eyeballs for ads? To be the next Google so we start looking for things online on Facebook first?
We have emailed Facebook PR to try to get more information on a Find Your Friends browser. Hey if it’s true it might be cool …
or it might mean a flood of Facebook friend requests from people that we don’t want in our lives.