It would seem to many people that it is Facebook’s ambition to become Twitter, having already implemented several features pioneered by the micro-blogging service. The latest integration of a Twitteresque feature was not even publicly announced, but suddenly appeared over the past few days. It’s quite possible that you haven’t even noticed it, but it has certainly changed the way in which friend requests and news feeds operate, transforming them very much into the same format used by Twitter’s ‘Follow’ feature.
Until recently if you received a friend request you would be given the option to either except it, or to ignore it. If you ignored it, then the person requesting to become a friend would be made aware of this, and either that would be the end of the matter, or they would continue to send friend requests on a regular basis, in the hope that pester power will eventually make you give in.
But now when you receive a Facebook friend request you have the option to either except it, or click the ‘Not Now’ button. If you choose the ‘Not Now’ button then it places the friend request in a kind of limbo, with the person who made the request not being aware that this is the case.
Whilst the friend request remains in limbo they are unable to send you any further requests, giving you an easy way of silencing an irritating friend request spammer.
But perhaps more importantly than this is the fact that once somebody has made a friend request, even if you click the ‘Not Now’ button, your news feed, assuming that it is public, will immediately start to appear on their page, very much like the Twitter follow feature.