Facebook continues to play with the open space on its homepage and now appears to be testing a new drop-down notification window.

The drop-down window appears above the News Feed and recommends new friends to users based on mutual friends. A mutual friend is defined as an individual who has one or more friends in common with you.

While this could be great for personal use, there’s little benefit for brands, unless the recommendations begin displaying Facebook Pages. The only problem with that is that it closely resembles Sponsored Stories – an organic way to work brand mentions onto Facebook’s homepage.

The space above the News Feed is valuable, and is often where Facebook shares news about updates or prompts you to take action. It seems unlikely that the social network would start placing Sponsored-like ads up there – especially after the backlash received when the company announced it would integrate Sponsored Stories into the News Feed.

However, anyone using a Facebook Profile to build a personal brand might benefit from this feature. Not only can it help to introduce you to other like-minded people, but it could also help to promote you and your personal brand to Facebook’s user base.

Facebook has yet to comment on this feature, so it’s not clear if or when it will be rolled out to the public.

[Via: Tech.li, Image credit: Mike King]