Facebook has moved the active link for friend requests from the Requests panel in the bottom of the home page’s right sidebar to the “Friends” navigation link in the top of the left sidebar. Similar to application requests, pending friend requests will still appear as text in the Requests panel, but users must click the navigation link which denotes pending requests with a counter in order to visit the Friends page and respond to friend requests.
This change may signal that Facebook is preparing to remove the Requests panel, as the only active links still present there are Page, family, and old group requests. The freed up space could be reallocated to show Places check-ins of friend or more engagement ads.
Facebook has been going back and forth lately on how to inform users about pending requests. It recently began showing app requests as notifications. This has angered some game players who now have their notifications channel, which previously alerted them to wall posts and photo tags, overrun by requests for assistance in games like CityVille. Facebook completely removed these app requests from the Requests panel, but then reinstated them there due to complaints about user retention from developers.
Now friend requests as well as app requests appear as inactive links in the Requests panel, which when clicked generate a prompt pointing towards the navigation links on the far side of the home page. While it’s important for Facebook to determine the optimal location for requests, these frequent changes will confuse and irk some users.