Facebook is using a new “Member Suggestions” right sidebar module to recommend friends to add to your currently viewed Group. The module displays users who are friends with many of the Group’s existing members, but may have been accidentally left out. The feature should help keep Groups growing, preventing their membership from stagnating after the initial wave of additions.
Just prior to releasing the Groups feature in early October, Facebook updated its Friend Lists product with suggestions of users to add to a currently viewed list. Those suggestions were based on a user sharing similar demographic or interest characteristics with existing list members, such as a shared hometown or employer. Its unclear if Member Suggestions might similarly suggest users who share attributes other than friendships with Group members.
While users are browsing a Group they are a member of, they’ll see the Member Suggestions module in the right sidebar below Docs but above the advertisements. The module shows a user’s name, profile pic, the number of current Group members who they are friends with, and an”Add friend to Group” link, which instantly admits them using the confirmation-less system. As with all new member admissions, a story is published to the Group’s feed stating who added who to the Group.
When Groups was first released, many users flocked to create them and add numerous friends. Friends not added during this initial phase may never have been admitted. If the Group has the secret privacy setting, those users would be unable to find the Group to request admission. Since new friends may join a clique after it’s Group has been created, Member Suggestions should serve to fill out these holes in Group membership.