Facebook explained that the tool was outdated, because users could be found in other ways, either by clicking on their name in a mutual friend's Timeline or News Feed. The social network also said people became confused when they were unable to find a friend via search.
It's the latest development in Facebook's long-running privacy saga. Frequent changes to its privacy settings have confused some users, and controversial statements from CEO Mark Zuckerberg about how people shouldn't be doing the things they want to keep secret in the first place.
Earlier this year, Facebook expanded its internal search capabilities with the roll out of Graph Search. The feature allows users to sift through the social network's vast data trove to find "friends who live in my city," "tourist attractions in Italy visited by my friends," and similar lists. It also allows Facebook to eventually challenge sites that rate and rank local attractions like restaurants and hotels.
Facebook noted in the announcement that it provides other privacy settings, including control over the visibility of each individual post.