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Finding Friends on Facebook

Find out how to find people you know on Facebook, including people you went to school with or worked with several decades ago, and add them to your friends list.

This chapter is from the book

In this chapter, you find out how to find people you know on Facebook and add them to your friends list.

  • Finding Facebook Friends

  • Accepting or Declining Friend Requests

Facebook is all about connecting with people you know. Anyone you connect with on Facebook is called a friend. A Facebook friend can be a real friend, or a family member, colleague, acquaintance... you name it. When you add people to your Facebook friends list, they see everything you post—and you see everything they post.

Of course, before you can make someone your Facebook friend, you have to find that person on Facebook. That isn’t always as easy as you might think, especially when you’re looking for people you went to school with or worked with several decades ago. People move, women might change their names when they get married (or divorced, or remarried, or some combination of the above), and it just becomes more difficult to find people over time. It might be difficult, but if they’re on Facebook, you can probably find them.

Finding Facebook Friends

Because it’s in Facebook’s best interests for you to have as many connections as possible, the site makes it easy for you to find potential friends. This process is made easier by the fact that Facebook already knows a lot about you, based on the information you entered when you first signed up.

Facebook automatically suggests friends based on your personal history (where you’ve lived, worked, or gone to school), mutual friends (friends of people you’re already friends with), and Facebook users who are in your email contacts lists. You can then invite any of these people to be your friend; if they accept, they’re added to your Facebook friends list.

Find Friends in the Facebook Mobile App

It’s easy to find friends when you’re using Facebook on your mobile phone or tablet. Just let Facebook make some suggestions—and then decide whether you want to accept them or not. (This example shows how it looks on Facebook’s iPhone app; it works similarly on the Android version, too.)

  • circle-01.jpg Tap the Requests icon to display the Friend Requests screen.

  • circle-02.jpg Any pending friend requests are at the top of the screen. Tap Confirm to accept a request.

  • circle-03.jpg Suggested friends are displayed beneath the friend requests. Tap Add Friend to send that person a friend request.

  • circle-04.jpg Search for a specific friend by tapping the + at the top-right corner of the screen.

  • circle-05.jpg Enter the name, email address, or mobile phone number of the person you’re looking for.

  • circle-06.jpg Tap Search to display matching Facebook members.

  • circle-07.jpg Tap Add Friend to send a friend request.

Find Friends on the Facebook Website

The friend-finding process is similar on Facebook’s website—although you have a few more options when searching for friends.

  • circle-01.jpg On the Facebook website, click the Friend Requests button to display the drop-down menu.

  • circle-02.jpg Any pending friend requests are listed first. Click the Confirm button to accept a request, or the Delete Request button to not accept it.

  • circle-03.jpg Facebook also displays a list of suggested friends. Click the Add Friend button to send a friend request to a particular person.

  • circle-04.jpg To search for more friends, click See All at the bottom of the menu. This displays a page that lists friend suggestions and various search options. (You can also get to this page by clicking the Find Friends button on the toolbar, if you have one; it’s only displayed for newer users.)

  • circle-05.jpg In the right column of the page, scroll down until you see the Search for Friends panel. To search for someone by name, enter that person’s name into the Name box.

  • circle-06.jpg To search for people who are already friends with your other Facebook friends, go to the Mutual Friend section and check the names of one or more friends. (If a particular friend isn’t listed, enter his or her name into the text box first.)

  • circle-07.jpg To look for people who come from your hometown, go to the Hometown section and check your town. (If your hometown isn’t listed, enter it into the text box first.)

  • circle-08.jpg To search for people who live near you now, go to the Current City section and check your city. (If your town or city isn’t listed, enter it into the text box first.)

  • circle-09.jpg To search for people who went to the same high school you did, go to the High School section and check the name of your high school. (If your high school isn’t listed, enter it into the text box first.)

  • circle-10.jpg To search for people who went to the same college or university you did, go to the College or University section and check the name of your school. (If your school isn’t listed, enter its name into the text box first.)

  • circle-11.jpg To search for people who work or worked at one of your current or former employers, go to the Employer section and check the name of that company. (If a company isn’t listed, enter its name into the text box first.)

  • circle-12.jpg To search for former classmates who went to the same graduate school you did (if, in fact, you went to graduate school), go to the Graduate School section and check the name of that school. (If your grad school isn’t listed, enter its name into the text box first.)

  • circle-13.jpg Whichever options you select, Facebook returns a list of suggested friends based on your selection. Click the Add Friend button to send a friend request to a specific person.

Look for Friends of Friends

Another way to find old friends is to look for people who are friends of your current friends. That is, when you make someone your friend on Facebook, you can browse through the list of people who are on his friends list. Chances are you’ll find mutual friends on this list—people that you both know but you haven’t found otherwise.

  • circle-01.jpg Click or tap your friend’s name anywhere on the Facebook site, such as in a status update, to display his Timeline page.

  • circle-02.jpg Click or tap Friends under the person’s name to display his Friends page, which lists all of this person’s Facebook friends.

  • circle-03.jpg When you find a person you’d like to be friends with, click or tap the Add Friend button.

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