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How to Use Facebook to Find People - Ten Easy Ways


Facebook is the largest and most popular social networking site on the Web today. Millions of people check into Facebook daily, which makes it a fantastically powerful tool for finding people you might have lost contact with: friends, family, high school chums, military buddies, etc. In this article, we're going to look at a few ways you can use Facebook to reconnect.

1. Facebook friends page

Go to the find your friends on Facebook page. You have a number of options here: find people you know by email, find people you know by last name, find people on your IM (instant messenger) list, browse for people alphabetically (this is somewhat tedious) or browse Facebook pages by name.

2. Piggyback on your friends' friends

Use your Facebook friends as a resource. Click on their Friends and choose the "See All" option to scroll through their list of friends. This is a great way to find someone in common that you might have forgotten about.

3. Facebook suggestions

Use the Facebook Suggestions link (found to the right of your news stream) as a jumping off point. You'll not only see potential friends and fan pages here, but if you scroll down a little, you'll also see an opportunity to search within your groups: college, high school, workplace, camps, etc.

By default, when you search for a topic on Facebook, the results you see will be from your list of contacts; your "circle of friends", so to speak. If you would like to expand that circle to include results from anyone who has chosen to make their Facebook information publicly accessible, simply click on "Posts By Everyone". This gives you the option to view information from people who are not included in your contact list.

4. Use Facebook to find a phone number

Did you know you can use Facebook to make your own personalized phonebook, with a customized directory of all your friends, family, and acquaintances? Here's how you can do that.

5. Search Facebook profiles

Facebook has a page designated especially for the networks that people choose to belong to. On this search page, you can search by name, email, school name and graduation year, and company.

6. Filter your Facebook results

Once you start typing something into the Facebook search bar, a feature called Facebook Typeahead kicks in, which returns the most relevant results from your immediate contacts.By default, when you search for someone on Facebook, you'll get all the result on one page: people, pages, groups, events, networks, etc. You can filter these easily by using the search filters on the left-hand side of the search results page. Once you click on one of those filters, your search results will rearrange themselves into only results that coincide with that particular subject, making it easier for you to track down who you're looking for.

7. Search for two things at once

Facebook (unfortunately) doesn't have much in the way of advanced search, but you can search for two things at once by using the the | character (you can make this character by pressing "shift backslash"). For example, you could look for baseball and Billy Smith with this search: "baseball | Billy Smith".

8. Find classmates on Facebook

Search for former classmates on Facebook. You can either simply browse through a graduation year (this is a GREAT way to find people you've lost touch with), or you can type in a specific name to get more narrowed results.

9. Find work colleagues on Facebook

If someone has ever been affiliated with a company (and has put this affiliation on their Facebook profile), you'll be able to find it using the Facebook company search page.

10. Search for Facebook networks

This Facebook search page is especially helpful. Use the dropdown menu to search within your networks, or browse the lefthand side menu to filter your search results (recently updated, lists, possible connections, etc.).

Facebook's general search page searches ALL results; friends, groups, posts by friends, and Web results (powered by Bing). You are given the option to "like" pages and groups that you might be interested in here, as well as search for specific words within your friends' status updates.

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