Facebook Gives Friend Finder Prominent Home Page Promotion

Facebook gave some very prominent home page promotion to its “friend finder” page today, placing a large upsell on many users’ home pages, in an effort to encourage more users to import their email contacts in order to invite new people to the site and find friends already on Facebook.

The in-house ad tells you about friends of yours who have used friend finder at some point in the past — which is many people, as the feature has been in various forms for years.

The destination page, if you’re not familiar, has a few different ways for you to find your friends. First, it encourages you to import contact lists from various email and instant message services, matching names and email addresses from those address books with people who are on Facebook. It also shows you the full selection of people who regularly appear in its “Suggestions” panel on the right-hand side of the home page. And, it includes links to searches for people in your networks.

The reason for this promotion appears to be that Facebook wants to stimulate growth as well as the number of friendships between people who know each other but aren’t yet connected on Facebook. Because these connections are real, they reinforce authentic identity within Facebook – people are more likely to provide real-world information about themselves rather than fake avatar information, as they do on other sites. We’ll be keeping an eye on growth numbers this month to see if this campaign produces an appreciable bump.