Facebook Confirms Removal of Suggest to Friends Feature from Pages, Reducing Virality

Facebook removed the Suggest to Friends link from Pages last week when a bug caused the feature to load incorrectly. However, an article in the Help Center confirms that the option will not be returned to users, and that they should now use the Share button to ask Friends to Like a Page. The closing of this viral channel should reduce Page suggestion spam, but may also stunt the growth of Pages unless they pay for more ads.

Suggest to Friends was originally implemented in March 2009 to help admins grow their Pages, which had launched the month before. Admins would often use the About box located beneath the link to encourage users to invite friends. Users were limited to sending approximately 20 invites at a time.

Admins will still be able access the Suggest to Friends feature on their own Pages, though it is stil broken at this time. Users can’t access the feature, but can instead use the Share button, located at the very bottom left Pages. The Share button allows users to make a post of the Page to their profile, “which may appear in their friends’ News Feeds”. Users can also opt to Share directly to specific friends via Message, and can send up to 20 of these at a time.

The change will hurt Page growth because the Share button is significantly less prominent and easy to use than Suggest to Friends. The Share button is buried where few users will notice it, whereas Suggest to Friends was above the fold and just below the eye-grabbing profile picture. Shares to the feed may reach more users, especially if coming from someone with many friends, but the conversion rate is likely lower since the posts are mixed in with other compelling content.

If users happen to click the tiny “Send as a Message instead” link, they’ll have to remember and type in names rather than use the Suggest to Friends’ multi-friend selector. Messages do generate red notification counters on the top navigation bar that attract attention, but neither posts nor messages explicitly instruct recipients to Like the Page, further reducing the likelihood of conversion.

Page admins with “Click ‘Suggest to Friends’” or similar calls to action in their About sections should change them to read “Click ‘Share’ at the bottom”. As when Facebook shut down viral channels for applications, this change will force Facebook Pages to increase their reliance on paid marketing, like the new Sponsored Stories ad unit.

[Thanks to Alex for the tip]

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15 Responses to “Facebook Confirms Removal of Suggest to Friends Feature from Pages, Reducing Virality”

  1. Facebook ‘Suggest’ Feature – Gone: What To Do Now? | local2social says:

    [...] 1. Understand the share button- the share button is located just under each status update, link, photo, event or any other piece of content you post on Facebook. When your customer selects the share button a pop up screen appears that shows the post, event, link, etc and what page your customer found the information on- it also allows the user who is sharing this content to write a personal note to go along with post. A great example of the process is on this blog post by Inside Facebook. [...]

  2. Tim Ware says:

    I just tested the fb:multi-friend-selector FBML on a Static FBML tab and it worked fine. I wonder how that slipped past them? And for how long?

  3. This Week’s Headlines on Inside Facebook says:

    [...] Facebook Confirms Removal o fSuggest to Friends Feature from Pages, Reducing Virality [...]

  4.   says:

    Facebook is nothing but spying garbage!!

  5. Gerdson says:

    This is so stupid!

    They tell people to promote fanpages by using the share button, but also introduced this new feature over night that your posts are only shown to those friends you recently interacted with.

  6. Bob Stevens says:

    Greedy Bastards!

  7. Suggest to Friends on Facebook Pages. Where did it go? says:

    [...] This article goes into a little more depth: http://www.insidefacebook.com/2011/01/28/removal-suggest-friends-pages [...]

  8. Ricky Bobby says:

    thanks facebook! you suck again! Just in case there is any confusion I REFUSE to EVER pay for anything on your website.

  9. Sandra says:

    Twitter is definitely the way forward! No problem there with following or suggesting what ever you want

  10. FACEBOOK says:

    Facebook is really Greedy, from behalf of all the musicians that are out there. Just a matter of time before someone creates their own suggest feature tools to increase viral tactics.

    I got 8000 friends pretty much over night thanks to your friend suggestion feature. You expect me to pay for that now?

  11. 10 Ways to Build Your Facebook Business Page | ReviveCommunication.com says:

    [...] removed this feature for all Pages and instead encourages users to use the Share button found at the bottom [...]

  12. 10 Ways to Build Your Facebook Business Page | revive2011 says:

    [...] removed this feature for all Pages and instead encourages users to use the Share button found at the bottom [...]

  13. 10 Ways to Build Your Facebook Business Page | ReviveNYC says:

    [...] removed this feature for all Pages and instead encourages users to use the Share button found at the bottom [...]

  14. 10 Ways to Build Your Facebook Business Page says:

    [...] removed this feature for all Pages and instead encourages users to use the Share button found at the bottom [...]

  15. 15 Frequently Asked Questions About Facebook Pages | MariSmith.com says:

    [...] removed this feature for all Pages and instead encourages users to use the Share button found at the bottom [...]

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