Facebook Revamps Page Suggestions, Adds Page Invites Manager to Page Browser

Facebook has changed the way users send, receive, and respond to Page suggestions — also called Recommended Pages, Page invites, or the “Suggest to Friends” feature. Only Page admins can send suggestions, and they can only suggest their own Page. Users now receive these via “Recommended Pages” sidebar modules that show the name of the suggester and an option to Like. If users click “See All” on the module, they’re taken to a new “Page Invites” section of the Page Browser where they can delete suggestions or view the Pages.

Page suggestions are now less visible than when they appeared on the friend requests page and the now-removed home page Requests panel. However, their more social nature should help to offset harm the channel change’s harm to growth of small Pages that use the feature to start building their fan base.

Facebook introduced Page suggestions as an option for both users and admins in March 2009. These suggestions appeared on the friend requests page and on the home page Requests panel next to friend, app, group and other requests until January 2011 when Facebook began phasing out the panel in favor of bookmarks. Later that month, Facebook changed Page suggestions so they could only be sent by admins, not users, significantly reducing the amount of Page suggestion spam sent. Facebook has also dropped the cap on how many suggestions can be sent at once via the “Suggest to Friends” option admins see in the admin panel on the right side of their own Pages.

Now, the Requests panel is gone and Page suggestions don’t appear on the friend requests page. Instead, users will see them within the Recommended Pages right sidebar module that occasionally appears when browsing the site. Previously, this module only showed Pages that Facebook automatically recommended because they had similar audiences to a user’s existing Likes or were Liked by their friends.

Page suggestions in the module show the name and picture of the Page, a Like button for the Page, and the text “[Friend who is the Page’s admin] suggested you check out his / her Page.” This informal language makes the suggestions seem more organic and compelling, and less coercive than the old request-style language that informed users they’d been “invited” and should “Confirm” or “Ignore” the suggestion to Like a Page.

Users can hover over a suggestion to see an ‘x’ that allows them to delete it, or they can click “See All” to be directed to the Page Browser, launched in September 2010. Now, the “Friends Similar to You” panel has been pushed down the right sidebar to make room for the “Page Invites” manager. This shows all of a user’s Page suggestions, with links to each Page and persistently visible ‘x’s for deleting invites.

Facebook has succeeded in revamping Page suggestions in a way that cleans up the home page and requests channel while reducing suggestion spam. Some Page admins might not like the reduction in their visibility, but because the remaining visibility is now a more social and seamless part of the user experience, we don’t expect a significant drop in conversion rate of Page suggestions.

[Thanks to Brittany Darwell for the tip]