Facebook recently removed their “Suggest to Friends” options from pages. The option previously appeared beneath the page’s profile picture, along with other options like “Subscribe via SMS” and “Add to My Page’s Favorites.”
Why, Facebook? Why!
Why would Facebook take away suggesting? The power of suggestion is very strong. And the power of social suggestion—recommendations made by your friends—is even stronger. Much of Facebook’s “viral” nature is derived from its users’ ability to share, and yes, suggest things to each other.
One possible reason to take away suggesting is to promote liking and sharing—two of Facebook’s most essential features. Some said the change was made to motivate companies to buy ads rather than use free, word-of-Facebook-mouth promotion. But that doesn’t make much sense, because not everyone lost their suggesting ability…
Admins can still suggest. Sort of.
Page Admins still have the option to suggest a page to their friends. Except the suggest function appears to be broken.
But the fact that the option is still listed is encouraging. It tells us that Facebook doesn’t want to eliminate suggesting entirely. If it exists for some users, there’s still some hope that it could exist for all.
Suggesting is broken.
Hitting the “Suggest to Friends” button on one of my pages brings up this—a collapsed box, with nothing inside it.
But this too is actually encouraging. Facebook doesn’t often leave broken features untended. Seeing unavailable functionality like this, seemingly unintentionally crippled, would—ahem—suggest that Facebook is currently making changes to the function. Limiting its availability to admins is a good way to test changes on a minority of users.
Will we ever suggest again?
So now the question becomes, if admins—the potential advertisers—can suggest, why can’t we, the target-market consumers? Is it becoming a privilege, accessible only to Facebook’s social influencers?
Or is Facebook just patching up a few things before suggesting returns to all users? Maybe too many “how to suggest to all friends” tutorials popped up and Zuck wants that “bug” fixed (or officially supported?).
Or perhaps—and I think this is most likely—suggesting was taken away temporarily while Facebook redesigns pages. They just finished rolling out new profiles, and there has been lots of talk of eliminating tabs on pages too. Perhaps this is just part of that rework.
I hope so. I like the suggest function. Sure, it gets over-used sometimes. But I think it’s a great piece of Facebook’s platform.
What about you? Do you miss your “Suggest to Friends” button? Did you even notice it missing? What are your conspiracy theories about its disappearance? Let me know in the comments or tweet at me. Thanks!
Update: No, we will never suggest again. At least, not the way we used to.