Like other Gamegos games, the benefits of having friends who play the game are highlighted through various tasks and features in the game.
What can they do?
Become neighbors (up to 150) that players may visit every day to gain hearts
Respond to requests (earning hearts, obtaining dishes, sending 'items' for quests).
Visit your cafe (and leave you a heart)
Collect prizes shared in-game or on a player's timeline
Randomly visit you as in-game customers (players cannot control this-- this means you're also a random visitor in your friends' cafes)
What they are
Friends in the friends tab is a list of all your facebook friends. CL players and non-CL players are segregated in two lists: CL players are on the top list, and non-CL players are on the bottom list.
Friends in the neighbor tab is a list of 150 people who were either chosen by the player or automatically assigned by the game from the pool of all CL players on a person's friend list. Upon adding the person as a facebook friend, a CL player will be automatically added to this list if a person has less than 150 neighbors.
Neighbors can be manually added and/or removed so that other CL friends can be selected as neighbors (usually done to inactive neighbors).
It is not guaranteed that these people also have you as neighbors on their game, so they may or may not be able to visit your cafe.
This is a list of people whose cafes you can visit and earn hearts from (up to two hearts a day).
Friends in the CL Friends tab is a list of all CL players on a player's friend list who are not neighbors. New CL players added as Facebook friends after having 150 neighbors automatically goes to this list.
If the CL Friends tab is empty, it means that a player had not reached 150 neighbors yet.
If the CL Friends tab has a list although the player had not reached 150 neighbors, it means that the player manually removed these players from their neighbors list.
This is a list of people whose cafes you can't visit.
A player can only have 150 neighbors, but there is no limit as to how many CL players a person can have. The only limit one can have is Facebook's 5,000 friends limit.
All CL friends(not just neighbors!) can respond to your requests and send you gifts. The only difference they have with neighbors is cafe visitation.