Can we be friends? Not now…

According to Inside Facebook and Mashable, Facebook is rolling out yet another change in the upcoming weeks, this time geared at how we process incoming friend requests. If there were ever a time to ignore those whom you wish to ignore, it’s now, because soon the ignore option will be lost to you forever. In its place, you’ll be given the option of “Not Now”, a maybe later if I’ve ever seen one. The nice thing about the new “Not Now” option, is that your wannabe friend-in-question will never be notified of your indecision. Whenever they check out your profile, they’ll see an “Awaiting Friend Confirmation” message, as though you haven’t yet had time to address their request.

Simple interpretation? You don’t get the guilt of clicking “ignore” on those people you recognize or remember but have no desire to reconnect with. And they, seeing the “Awaiting Friend Confirmation” status, will give you and your schedule the benefit of the doubt.

Snarkiness aside, the “Not Now” feature does automatically store these requests in a “Hidden Requests” menu—giving you the option to later amend your decision by “Confirming,” or the ability to decide once and for all to “Delete Request.” If you decide to deny friendship to a would-be, you can optionally mark that you don’t know them, which will block them from all future attempts to friend you.

I have to say that the ability to block the user is of specific interest to me, because from time to time we all get spammed by random individuals on a friending spree. However, in terms of being automatically filed to a “Hidden Requests” menu, I find that particular functionality unnecessary. Just give me the option to “Confirm,” “Ignore,” “Block” or “Not Now” from the get-go.

I sort every friend request I accept into specific groups, each with limits as to which updates or areas of my profile are visible. Not because I have anything to hide (my life’s not THAT interesting, I assure you), but more as an assurance that I don’t subject my “friends” to an overshare. Family things are relegated to updates that only family members are privy to, professional or client-related posts are usually public so I can help get the word out on upcoming events and general updates are visible to acquaintances and the occasional friend of a friend. t

Aside from the block user feature, I’m not sure that the “Hidden Request” menu adds any additional functionality that will delight avid Facebook users, but I guess we’ll all have a better idea of its pros and cons once it has actually launched. Stay tuned.

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