For all of time people have had their own definitions. The meaning of a word like friend is not universal. A friend to me might be someone I call at least five times a week, while you might call that guy you met once in third grade a friend. Before the internet this wasn’t really a problem. However you defined friend was fine by me.
All of a sudden social networking sites came along and friend became a verb.The action part was much more important than the adjective. Everything was cool until Friendster decided to define the social meaning of friend as well. A friend could not be a made up person or object. That, along with incredibly slow service, sunk the site.
Now Facebook seems to be repeating the mistake.