Facebook has been hard at work introducing new features such as Stories and Reactions, but one of the most basic needs on the platform is an easy way to find people. Thankfully there are several methods that can be employed in your search for erstwhile companions, many of which are right at your fingertips.
How to use Search for Friends
One of the most comprehensive ways to search on Facebook is to use the Search for Friends feature. To access this open Facebook on your PC and click on the icon of two silhouetted people that you’ll see in the upper right corner.
When the drop down menu appears you’ll see the option to Find Friends appear just below where you clicked. Select this and you’ll be taken to a new page that lists a number of people Facebook thinks you might know. Obviously it’s a good idea to look through this, as Facebook uses its algorithm magic to try and match up users.
On the right side of the page you’ll also find the Search for Friends section. This allows you not only to search for someone by name, but also include options for home towns, schools, colleges, universities, mutual friends, and employers.
Just fill in details relevant to the person you’re looking to find and hopefully you’ll get the right result.
Search friends of your friends
If the person you’re trying to find is also known by some of your other contacts, then look through their friends list to see if they’ve already tracked them down.
To do this go to the profile of your existing contact and click or tap on the Friends option that’s found under their profile picture. Now you’ll be able to scroll through all the people they’re friends with, and maybe stumble across your old mate.
Search old schools and workplaces
When you first sign up to Facebook, and pretty much constantly afterwards, you’ll be asked to enter which school, college, university, or company you attended/worked at in the past. It’s reasonable to assume that the person you’re looking for has done the same, so the pages of these organisations are a rich hunting ground.
Try searching through your old institutions by entering their name into the search bar at the top of the page.
There’s a good chance you might find a group exists, and joining this will put you in touch with plenty of people who might be able to aid you in your quest.
Search your email contacts
If you kept in touch with your absent friend for a while after school or work, then there’s a chance you might have exchanged emails at some point. Facebook has a feature where it will search your email addresses and then highlight at any people on the social media platform who are not already connected to you.
To enable this feature go to the Find Requests section (the silhouette of two people again), click Find Friends, then from the box in the upper right corner entitled Add Personal Contacts, choose which email service you want Facebook to search. Enter your account details then click the Find Friends button and if you’re lucky you might find their name appear.
Post on Facebook!
If all else fails then why not ask if anyone knows how to get in contact with the missing person? The real power of social media is the hive mind aspect that can throw up some pretty interesting results. Maybe someone in your friends list already has some information and just needed you to say you were looking.