Facebook linking its “Friend Finder” & “People You May Know” Features

Friend finder is one of the 5 ways to find your old friends on Facebook. Last night, I tried friend-finder after a long time with my Hotmail email account and within few seconds, I was flooded with friend requests from Facebook users as you can see in screenshot below.

As I do not use Hotmail anymore, I had only bunch of contacts in that Hotmail account.

What would have happened exactly?

  1. I opened friend-finder and gave it my hotmail contacts list.
  2. Next, Facebook might have searched for users from my contact list who were online at that time .
  3. After finding those online friends, Facebook must have shown them my facebook profile in “People You May Know” section.
  4. From there, some of them added me as a friend on Facebook.
  5. For this reason, I received 6 email notifications within a minute  (as you can see in screenshot above)

Above is just a guess. But many times, I have noticed that users suggested in “People You May Know” section have no mutual friends or any other common thing with me. Also, 6 users adding me at the same time could not be a coincidence. (unless I win a million dollar on a quiz show)

Is it a threat to privacy?

Facebook is infamous for (mis)using private info of its users (see facebook beacon controversy).

Legally, I am not sure if Facebook “reverse” friend finder violates Facebook users right to privacy, but personally I am fine with its existence.

We use friend-finder to find friends and we also expect facebook to suggest relevant users in “People You May Know” section. So if Facebook is linking these 2 features, then that will be going to increase our friend-list on Facebook! 😉

This is a typical win-win-win situation and nobody has nothing to lose here IMHO.

What do you think about this? Have you ever experienced similar thing?

Related: 5 ways to find your old friends on Facebook