While routinely searching for a person on Google, I came across a new feature in Google Search where Google is displaying Facebook friends for a particular user in the search results.
As you can see from the screenshot above, searching for my own name resulted in the following search results, the more interesting thing though is that Google is also displaying names of friends from Facebook (the above account is not mine though and belongs to another Keith D’souza).
The friend list snippet is displayed for public Facebook profiles of users, it is not available for Facebook users who have disabled third party sites from accessing their information. Here is another example for a search I did for Robert Scoble.
Google did not display the Facebook Friends for Amit Agarwal, which might suggest that there are privacy settings restricting it. However, it did display the LinkedIn Profile information for the same search.
Why would Google want to display Facebook Friends in search results? The only reason I can think of right now is to allow users to see find people based on common friends. This could also mean that Google is trying to make it easier for people to find and connect with others through search results.
Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to remove this information from the search results at Google. You will have to explicitly change the settings in Facebook and LinkedIn to make the information more private.
What do you think about the new additions to the search results? Do you think it would be helpful in finding the correct person? Or do you think that it is an invasion of your privacy?