Louis Gray
Facebook's 5,000 Friend Limit Has a Ripple Effect Across Social Networks (Discussion Here)
The most popular people on Facebook have run up against a limit of friends, capped at 5,000. Whether they have 50,000 'fans' or 6,000, those 5,001 and up can't connect. - Louis Gray
FriendFeed automatically assumes that if you are a friend on Facebook, you are also a friend on FriendFeed. This leads to why many "A-Listers" have high subscriber counts, even if the person didn't add them manually. - Louis Gray
That said, if said person only can have 5,000 of those automatically connected, they actually have _fewer_ subscribers than they would otherwise, if Facebook were to expand the cap to 10,000 or 20,000 or higher. - Louis Gray
And what do you think of LinkedIn, there limit is 30.000. They simply don´t get it. - Jan Mulder
Additionally, as these Facebook/FriendFeed subscribers would be exposed to said individual's stream of all social sites, they would be more likely to follow said individual on other sites, as well as be exposed to these "top" people's friends, comments and likes. - Louis Gray
But if they are not allowed to connect with those people on Facebook, and don't manually add them on FriendFeed, the are operating outside of this Venn Diagram. - Louis Gray
Thus, assuming the above, Facebook's cap reduces the total number of followers that all A-listers have across all networks, and, due to trickle-down, reduces the exposure and followers that each other person interacting with said people also has... (think of it as six degrees of "A Lister Name Goes Here") - Louis Gray
I'm glad Facebook has the limits. Lifting the limit would only be an advantage for people broadcasting to lots of people. But Facebook works best when it is a smaller group interacting together. And if someone was broadcasting on it all day, they would just be creating noise in a system designed to eliminate it. I don't want my friends sending status updates telling me to look at their blog. I want to see status updates from my actual friends telling me about their lives. - Andrew
Given Facebook's self-imposed definition of a friend, I really wonder how many people (if anyone) can seriously argue, given Facebook's definition, that they have 5,000 friends. - Mark Trapp
Brian, I would guess it impacts a small amount. But assuming that those who it affects are influential, and can help spread the word about other services and people, it does affect those who don't run into the 5k cap. I don't, for example, expect to hit the 5k cap ever (or far, far away) as I am "only" at 700. - Louis Gray
Jan, the LinkedIn limit is 30,000? LinkedIn only shows "500+" when you get to that point (where I am now) - Louis Gray
Sid, one option would be to do a fan page, which yes, sounds egotistical. But that won't solve the FriendFeed/Facebook synchronization. - Louis Gray
Josh, your note on Facebook wanting to only include "real friends" is a lot like Twitter wanting you to only add real connections and avoid auto-follow. It's like trying to force a utopia, when reality is going a different way. I have no indication they will change the limit. - Louis Gray
LinkedIn is designed to promote business connections. They should be limitless. Facebook would gain nothing from lifting the limit except a headache from "powerusers" since their service doesn't need the PR of influential users. - Andrew
Andrew, what is more likely? That you have 5,000 real friends, or 5,000 real business connections? I think I'm equal on Facebook and LinkedIn. I used to have hard/fast rules on who I let in, but then I realized people just want to follow and get connected, so why should I stop them? - Louis Gray
Chris - that sounds boring! :-) - Louis Gray
Louis - Who said every business relationship on LinkedIn has to be used? How many people who take your business card actually use it? If I used LinkedIn, I would want as many connections as I could get in case I ever needed them. But again, increasing this limit on Facebook would only create a competition for friends and more noise in the system. I enjoy Facebook as it is now. I don't have a single person begging me to look at their stuff. I have my friends telling me about their lives. - Andrew
Brian, one interesting approach has been taken by AssetBar (http://www.assetbar.com), where popular people with good content can charge fans for access, using micropayments. But I would bet that popular people who stretch the limits wouldn't want to pay for more access, but in fact, might feel entitled to it. - Louis Gray
I disagree, I don't think it does have a ripple effect across other social networks, it's just common sense so the system isn't abused such as twitter's 2000 limit. FF doesn't have such a risk - sofarsoShawn
So what's the added value of connecting to people you don't know in Facebook? Who's going to work 5,000 Facebook connections? Is Robert Scoble actually checking in on the daily lives of 5,000 people on Facebook? Connecting for the sake of connecting begs the question, "why?" If a bunch of people want to follow what Robert Scoble's doing, there's the option of a fan page, which works in much the same way that FriendFeed and Twitter and other social networks work: unidirectional follow. If we're following people just to make them feel good, or to be nice, or to connect for the sake of having a connection, I think we've really lost the value of social media. What the hell are we doing but managing connections? - Mark Trapp
Similarly, the argument could be made that Twitter's initial limit to stop you from following more than 2,000 reduces both your exposure and those you want to follow, but it is less automatic than FriendFeed's/Facebook integration. Regardless of which socnet has a cap, it reduces total #'s everywhere. - Louis Gray
Mark, I think many people correctly assume the majority of conversation is one way when the #'s get that high. Connecting to so many people doesn't just let you check in on them, but let's them get access to you. It's not an issue of being nice or making them feel good, but enabling two-way conversation, if wanted, where it is otherwise blocked. - Louis Gray
this is very upsetting to me - i am considering not using facebook until they increase the limit - in fact, i may not eat anything with milk in it in a continual protest. facebook has a "fans" page - you can go unlimited there - "friend" used to mean something - today it does not. - Allen Stern
Social Media's all a Multi-Level Marketing scheme - the closer you get to the top, the more influential you are. ;-) - Jesse Stay
For example, FriendFeed has no limit. If they stopped us from connecting at 2,000 or 5,000, there might already be people on this thread who I couldn't see or talk to. - Louis Gray
Josh, LinkedIn has let you connect as a "friend" for some time now, as they made big strides to get more like Facebook. - Louis Gray
So Chris, more like Twitter's model then? 2k, and once you get a similar number of followers, stay within 10%? - Louis Gray
again, these sites aren't designed for self promotion which edges close to spam, which is why the caps are in place - sofarsoShawn
It's a false assumption to make that a social connection has to be made in order to get in touch with someone. Email, still the main communication method of choice, requires only knowing one thing: a person's email address. Facebook doesn't require a friendship to be made to send a private message. Neither does LinkedIn. FriendFeed doesn't even have a method to communicate directly with people. - Mark Trapp
So it's down to Twitter and Jabber that require a mutual follow: rather than conflating one concept (being connected to someone) with another (being able to communicate with someone), it seems to make more sense to say the Twitter and Jabber methods are failures. Just think about real life: the other day, I walked up to a stranger and asked her how to get to a bus. I didn't walk up to her, ask her to be my friend, have her consent, and then ask my question: that'd be silly. So why is this all of the sudden okay (and demanded) in social media? - Mark Trapp
louis - if you need to remove someone so you can add another person on ff, i am willing to go - it was a nice run we had - but i understand upgrading - Allen Stern
+1240140140 @sofarsoshawn - all these social networks now are is marketing networks - 85,000 followers for tc/mash on twitter - why? because they can spam their posts all day and get traffic - same with facebook, etc. one of the reasons fc hired scoble is because he has access to these networks, etc. - Allen Stern
Allen, if we had to have FriendFeed friend layoffs, it'd just be you and me at the end. - Louis Gray
*shucks* thanks louis - Allen Stern
Someone has a good point. - tony
Louis, at some level I think it goes against the philosophy of Facebook to *not* have a limit. The designers didn't conceive that someone would be able to maintain "relationships" with 5000+ people. In that sense, what is the point of having more friends than you can keep up with? - Ryan Stanley
thanks tony - glad you agree with me :) - Allen Stern
Mark Zuckerberg, founder/CEO of Facebook, told me that the 5,000 member limit would go away this year. - Robert Scoble
Brian, only a small number of people have 5,000 friends (a few thousand people according to Facebook execs I've talked with). - Robert Scoble
yay robert - woo - i hope we can have a faceUP (like a tweetup) that weekend so we can get everyone together to add new followers on facebook! "i got marge, you got marge? no, ok here's marge" - Allen Stern
Why do I want more than 5,000 Facebook contacts? Because if Facebook is to be used for business (lots of people want to use it that way) it must be an open rolodex. I have 9,000 business cards. I want to add each person I've met to my Facebook social graph. Fan pages are NOT enough. Why? Because a lot of times I want to call you and I want to check out your home page. I can't do that if you aren't added to my social graph in Facebook. Facebook has become very much less useful to me because of this. - Robert Scoble
Allen: my friend Buzz Bruggeman has 12,000 business contacts in Outlook that he's collected during his career. Facebook is useless to him. - Robert Scoble
As per earlier discussion: http://friendfeed.com/e... yes it has a ripple effect, but one that can only be beneficial as a limiting agent, I agree with Scoble on the ridiculous want for more FB friends you don't ever talk to business isn't done on FB - sofarsoShawn
if you have 9,000 business cards, you should absolutely buy a cloudcontacts package :) - Allen Stern
I am going to use CloudContacts soon. Probably in the next two weeks. - Louis Gray
Perhaps the cap originated with the idea that one can only have 5000 friends in the old sense of the term, when it was just college students. http://scienceblogs.com/clock... Perhaps now that many of us use Facebook for business, the term should be changed to avoid this confusion: http://www.facebook.com/home... - Bora Zivkovic
Thanks Louis! - Allen Stern
Facebook for business does seem contrary to their initial user-base. For me it will be like mixing business with pleasure. I recognize keeping them absolutely separate is an impossible endeavor. My only request is whatever tools they give us to manage the various contact lists and relationships are extremely functional. - Ryan Stanley
Could you be friends with your boss? - sofarsoShawn
shawn, walking on thin ice there.. I wouldn't do it.. - embee
If some uber popular person wants to connect to fans through Facebook they could just use the Fan page feature. - Mathew™ aka Youngblood
Mathew: Fan pages suck. I want to use Facebook like a rolodex. Keep all potential contacts in one place and be able to look them up and call them and interact with them on messaging and wall features. - Robert Scoble
But, do you really need to have even 5000 people to keep in contact with for important things in the future? Maybe I just don't get it since I don't even have 100 "friends" on Facebook. - Mathew™ aka Youngblood
Peter: friendfeed proves you're wrong. If you design your systems properly NO ONE will be able to cripple your systems. - Robert Scoble
Friendfeed also doesn't have anywhere near the amount of users that Facebook does. - Mathew™ aka Youngblood
Mathew: while that's true, I have 27,000+ followers and am following 13,000+ here. It works great every single time. - Robert Scoble
Facebook strikes me as a business plan kind of company. If their original plan and driving philosophy included a friend ceiling, then it'll be interesting to see how they scale. FF on the other hand, seems to have the right philosophy for an infinite rolodex (now if only they'd catch up with the usability part). - Ryan Stanley
Facebook's bottom line: you should only add genuine friends. I don't think I know a single person with 5,000 *real* friends. Needless to say, FB is going to give into this demand in due time, I guess, but I still won't add the 430+ friends I have in my pending requests because I don't know them. They're my fans, not my friends. - Tamar Weinberg
Tamar: define "friend." - Robert Scoble
I define a "friend" as someone I want in my social graph. Who the hell are you to tell me how many friends I can have? Or to define "friendship" for me. What the hell is a "friend" anyway? I really would love someone to define that so I can know for sure whether you're my friend or not. - Robert Scoble
In semi-related news, in terms of genuinity, Facebook has started stripping titles on names, even if people are known with that name (see http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id...). In a way, that pisses me off - do you know how many FAKE people have friended me on Facebook in the last year and that Facebook hasn't taken care of? "Rabbi" is part of these guys' identities; I'm not really sure I approve of this. I certainly don't see how Facebook should make that call either. - Tamar Weinberg
Tamar: I agree with you there. I should be able to call myself whatever I damn well please. That said, because Facebook does have a lot of utility as a business directory/rolodex I do appreciate that it tries to get people to use their real names. Makes searching for people a lot easier. - Robert Scoble
Robert, we had this discussion 2 weeks ago. In fact, that's almost the exact question you asked me. My opinion hasn't changed. See http://friendfeed.com/e... - Tamar Weinberg
Tamar: your definition over there is "people you know personally." Well, hell, I know more than 9,000 people personally and have their business cards to prove it. So, why are you trying to limit me to 5,000 friends? - Robert Scoble
IMO, Robert, Facebook should not allow fake identities at all. In terms of the specific complaint, I don't consider a Rabbi a fake identity, especially if that's their title and people even call these individuals "Rabbi" to their faces (yes, when growing up, I called a lot of my teachers "Rabbi" almost as a first name). Those who have fake identities often have real identities and Facebook should terminate the fake ones and force the individuals to use their real names only on the service. (contd) - Tamar Weinberg
Define "people you know." - Robert Scoble
For about a year and a half, Facebook did nothing and these fake identities started cropping up. But in 2006, Facebook was serious about it (see this group here named in memory of "St Augustine of Hippo" who was a figment of some kid's imagination: http://www.facebook.com/home...). Facebook should NEVER have gotten lax on this. It's pretty annoying that they couldn't be consistent. - Tamar Weinberg
I think that definition changes from person to person. Will I add someone I spoke to for all of 2 minutes? If I feel comfortable that they're accessing personal photos, wall posts, etc, then sure. But I speak of a personal face-to-face interaction, Robert. You're a popular guy on the 'net, and surely you have a lot of people who follow everything about you - but would you invite all 5,000+ for an intimate dinner? Would you even have something to talk about? You tell me. - Tamar Weinberg
Facebook isn't a business network. Equating this with the number of business cards in your collection doesn't do it for me. Plus, do you remember EVERYONE who handed you your business card? - Tamar Weinberg
Tamar: actually I usually do and keep in mind I only get cards from one out of maybe four people I meet. Finally, I know a lot more about people online than I do just by meeting them and collecting their email address on a piece of paper. But, again, who the hell are you to tell me how many people I am allowed to "know?" - Robert Scoble
Tamar: intimate dinner means one other person. No more. Would I love to have an intimate dinner with 5,000 people and there's only 365 days in a year? Absolutely but I can't eat that much. Now, would I love to have a dinner with 5,000 people? I've already done that. At Microsoft we had 7,000 at one dinner. See, if we're going to use these tools for BUSINESS then you need to have more than 5,000 friends. - Robert Scoble
Nobody is saying you're allowed to know any specific # of people, but I will stick to the argument that Facebook is looking to foster genuine friendships, not just people looking to broaden their social connections. Like I said, I have 430+ pending friend requests from people who may know me in some capacity, but I'm not going to accept them because I've never met them. I don't know them. It's awkward for me to let them know personal details about my life. Facebook doesn't want to encourage it either. - Tamar Weinberg
Did you just redefine "friend" as someone you've had an intimate dinner with? - Robert Scoble
What is a "genuine" friendship? Do you have to sleep with me to prove you're "genuine?" - Robert Scoble
I share my personal details of my life with everyone, not just my friends. You all know I have kidney disease. What's more personal than that? - Robert Scoble
Mark Zuckerberg disagrees with you about what he wants to encourage, by the way. So I'll go with his definition of where Facebook is going: a social utility. - Robert Scoble
I don't think intimate necessarily means one other person, but if you want to look at it that way, how about I rephrase: would you invite a handful of your FB friends (and/or pending friends you can't approve) to a close-knit (better?) personal face-to-face dinner? And if that dinner materialized and all of your friends actually attended, would there really be something for everyone to talk about? Or at least for you as the host and orchestrator of the event? - Tamar Weinberg
I define a Facebook "friend" as someone who I want on my social graph. Any other definition is defacto wrong. - Robert Scoble
Robert, curious to know: do you hand-pick all of your Facebook friends or do you accept everyone who sends you an incoming request? - Tamar Weinberg
Tamar: I look at each one and decide whether they would be interesting in my social graph. Some I give full privileges to. Others I restrict their access. - Robert Scoble
Regarding Facebook and Dinner. I regularly held dinners in Seattle for EVERYONE. I love meeting new people and, yes, we opened our house up for people I knew only online regularly. So, answer is "totally" yes. - Robert Scoble
Robert, I actually answered this question in 2007 when I blogged about how I personally network with people on Facebook. I should probably do that chart again and find out how many of those people I actually *don't* know (because yes, before Facebook became open to the entire world, I was a little more liberal with my choosing of friends if there was some common ground). See post and pie chart: http://www.techipedia.com/2007... - Tamar Weinberg
Tamar: your usage of Facebook is wonderful but is irrelevant. A Facebook "friend" is someone you want on your social graph. We are both using Facebook correctly. But if you try to limit my ability to use Facebook to your weird rules I will yell bloody murder. I don't try to force you to use Facebook according to my rules, so why do you try to force me to use Facebook according to yours? Are you religious? Sure seems like it. You remind me of the evangelical Christians I used to hang out with. - Robert Scoble
I contend, then, Robert, that you're in the 0.00001% of Facebook users. (Actually, that number is a bit too generous IMO if Facebook is really at 175 million users.) I had a client who mass-friended some of my own friends and some of my personal friends (including some high-school classmates) actually accepted. THAT is something I hate. To some people, Facebook is about whoring every single contact you can possible gather, and that's not how I appreciate the service being used. - Tamar Weinberg
Tamar: again, you are being a real jerk if you try to put your ideas of who should be on your social graph onto ME. Who the hell made you the social graph queen? - Robert Scoble
Sid: as soon as I can add more than 5,000 friends on Facebook you'll be added. I have 4,500 people I want to add to my social graph and I can't. - Robert Scoble
Robert, as you realize, though, I'm saying that this is how I believe Facebook *wants* the service to be used as. They want those genuine friendships and not just the social graphing bit (which to them is actually a relatively newer phenomenon than Facebook itself). Your usage is more of an anomaly, IMO. That's why as I said initially here, FB will give into this demand in due time, but that's not part of the initial perception of the service. Call me old school. It's a personal preference. - Tamar Weinberg
Tamar: do you know Mark Zuckerberg or Sheryl Sandberg? I do. They tell me you are wrong. So why are you trying to stick up for wrong ideas? - Robert Scoble
Robert, if you're going to make personal attacks for my observations and how I'm trying to understand Facebook's current policy, then I'm not interested in continuing this conversation. To each his own. But are you saying that it's appropriate for people to start adding random friends of friends? Fine. I guess that's how my ex-client chose to socially graph. Again, I hate it and felt it was an invasion of my privacy. I'm not saying you can't. But using a comment saying I'm a jerk for hating that kind of activity is a little overblown IMO. - Tamar Weinberg
Perhaps I'm doing it 'wrong'. I tend to add interesting people here, and family and mostly (but not entirely) physical friends in Facebook. I spend way more time here and Twitter than I do in facebook, simply because more interesting stuff happens here, more often. Whilst I do like social interaction, and not just endless links to your blog or pet interest or business, much of what I get on Facebook is simply photos of the drunken exploits the night before, or the fact that your wearing blue pants today. - Ian May
Tamar: people who try to force me to use services the way THEY do are jerks. Sorry, but if I tried to force you to use Facebook the way I do I would be a jerk too. - Robert Scoble
Sid, and that's fine, but IMO (and apparently only now Robert has acknowledged that I'm wrong) Facebook had this user limitation because of the desire to keep friends "friends." If I'm wrong, why didn't he say so when I made the first statement? If this prior statement "Facebook's bottom line: you should only add genuine friends" was wrong, why was it pointed out NOW? - Tamar Weinberg
Robert, clearly you are an outlier (and you know it). To most people, friends are at the least people who they share more with than the internet at large. re:"I want to use Facebook like a rolodex. Keep all potential contacts in one place and be able to look them up and call them...", I would never trust a 3rd party to be my master database (for a variety of reasons). If my friends or family want to get in touch with me (and they somehow lost my number and email an IM), they can visit my eponymous web page. - Tinfoil 2.0
Robert, I'm not forcing you to do anything. You're allowed to use your social network any way you want it. It was my perception from the beginning that this is how Facebook wanted it, and this was something I understood personally for my own purposes. I'm not sure why you didn't point out my inaccurate statement earlier. - Tamar Weinberg
Tamar: please show me where Facebook says I should only add people I actually have met face-to-face to my social graph. - Robert Scoble
Like I said twice prior in this conversation and many times elsewhere, if people want to add me, they can. They're doing so because they're using Facebook in their own way. I have a choice whether to accept or reject that friend invitation. That's how I'm using Facebook. It would be completely wrong for me to make a judgment on how you are supposed to use the site, but it was always my understanding that this was the premise for Facebook's restrictions. - Tamar Weinberg
In fact, I just went and looked just to make sure. It just shows me people who want to be my friend and asks me to do one of two things: confirm or ignore. If I confirm then it asks me what kind of list I'd like to put them on and whether I want to give them full access or limited access. Who the hell made up what you are saying that there's "rules" to who should be a friend or not on Facebook? Who put YOU in charge? - Robert Scoble
Tamar: well, again, I'm telling you you are wrong. There never has been any "rules" on who should be a friend or not. Wonderful. Now we are starting to understand each other. The only "friend definition" in Facebook that you should put on other people is that they are people you want on your social graph. DO NOT try to tell me a friend online is anything different than that. - Robert Scoble
Robert, stop asking me to show you proof for something I said I have been "observing." You clearly know Sheryl Sandberg and Mark Zuckerberg and you already made a statement saying that they say I am wrong. I'm not going to argue on this point if it's wrong. However, you should have said I was wrong earlier. - Tamar Weinberg
Sid: you're funny. You can always hide this if you want. :-) - Robert Scoble
Tamar: I've been saying you are wrong to try to put stupid rules on the word "friend" for weeks now.You just weren't listening until I started pointing out that what you were doing is really nasty behavior similar to fundamentalist religious people. - Robert Scoble
Good. I'm wrong. We've established that. And for the fiftieth time, I never said I was in charge - I said this is how I understood the restriction. Again, you can use the social site as you want to. I personally use it one way. You use it another way. I don't judge people or care how they use the site, but that's how I understood the restriction. I'm not sure how else I can spell this out. Any way I say this, you attack me. - Tamar Weinberg
Tamar: you never said you're sorry for telling ME how to use Facebook. Until you do that you are a jerk. Sorry. When you apologize and back off then we can deal again. - Robert Scoble
...except, for the fifty-first time, Robert, that was how I understood the restriction. Apparently my understanding of the restriction is equivalent to religious fanaticism. Listen, look at it any way you want, but that's completely off base. - Tamar Weinberg
Where did I tell you how to use Facebook? - Tamar Weinberg
ok, now to decide whether to read the last 100+ comments or not.. - Zee.
Tamar: where did you get that belief? Back it up with a URL please. Until then you are trying to put YOUR beliefs on me. Knock it off and apologize and admit that you and I see our social graphs differently and that Facebook allows us both to exist peacefully on the same service. - Robert Scoble
Zee: nothing to see here. Just hide and move on. :-) - Robert Scoble
Robert, like I said, it's something I've observed when Facebook decided to change the names of friends of mine who have legitimate identities and to terminate accounts of those who didn't have an identity the site approved of. My understanding is that they wanted real people to foster real connections. If that's not enough for you, I'm not sure what is. - Tamar Weinberg
Tamar: real people fostering real connections is different than your stupid definition of "friend." You crossed the line and you can't even see what line you crossed. Sigh. - Robert Scoble
Robert, for the millionth time, I don't care how people use the service. Use it any way you want. If you're going to get worked up over some stupid definition I *personally* hold and then consider me a jerk for adhering to my personal preference, so be it. But hey, I'm not the one who imposed the 5,000 restriction, so take that part up with them. Apparently I was wrong in assuming why such a restriction was in place. - Tamar Weinberg
personally, until facebook respects the right to alias I will remain away from that site so this isn't an issue for me in the slightest. For others and the ways in which they wish to use the site I can understand that it can actually inhibit the usefulness they could get. - alphaxion
Tamar: that restriction was in place to retard Facebook's growth and also because of technical limitations -- the site got slow when you had more friends than that because of all the database joins that had to be done. - Robert Scoble
technically Robert, she didn't tell you how to use Facebook, she just pointed out that statistically, you're quite an anomaly. Of course Zuckerberg and Sandberg will tell you what you want to hear. It makes the noise stop. But, get out your calculator and divide 3000 by 175,000,000. Is it really a priority for Facebook? No. Should it be? Today, of course not. Tomorrow? Who knows. - Robert Seidman
Tamar: I got mad because you kept repeating this belief of yours and you tried to make me feel bad for using Facebook in a different way than your belief. It's amazing to me that you still do not see what line you crossed and why you pissed me off so much. - Robert Scoble
Robert: no, you missed that she tried to define friend as somone I am "intimate" with. Or, something close to that. Stay away from telling me who my friends can be. That's over the line. - Robert Scoble
i havent read every single comment but calling someone a jerk and stupid isn't very nice - facebook has a limit currently - if you don't like it, stay here where you can have a million bazillion friends and share things all ya like, etc. right? - Allen Stern
Robert, I'm not trying to preach here, and I apologize if you thought I'm trying to make you feel bad. That was DEFINITELY not my intention. I honestly always thought the restriction was in place for the reasons I stated. I obviously was wrong. - Tamar Weinberg
Allen: we're not talking about the limit. That's not what pissed me off about Tamar's statements (the Facebook limitation is there due to a technical problem with doing too many database joins, not because Mark Zuckerberg thinks you should only have 5,000 people in your social graph). She thinks it's stupid of anyone to have more than a few hundred friends on Facebook if you read her statements (she seems to have now backed away from that statement and belief). - Robert Scoble
Tamar: OK, now we're getting somewhere. The ONLY way you can define friends online is "someone you want in your social graph." If that's what you now believe I will apologize for going ballistic on you. - Robert Scoble
I've been on Facebook since April 2004, though, and I do understand the earlier mindset of the users on the service, so it's an interesting dilemma for me. A lot of people see *me* at 1400+ friends as a "friend whore." It's a completely different type of world out there, Robert. - Tamar Weinberg
Robert, locking me into a corner and asking me to "define friend" and "people you know" and then calling me a jerk for imparting my own opinion onto the subject also "crosses the line," if you will. Should I have ignored you? No, I responded with a personal opinion. - Tamar Weinberg
Tamar: and, again, anyone who tries to define how you use a service by calling you a "friend whore" is wrong and is a jerk. I won't back down off of that. Who made THEM "queens" of the social graph? - Robert Scoble
I think this clash of the titans counts as a bit more than a "ripple effect" -- "storm in a teacup" perhaps.. :-) - Tim Ostler
lets clarify terms - there are "friends" and there's a "social marketing graph" - Allen Stern
Tamar: I did that because you were setting yourself up as the "friend rule" maker. You were wrong to do that. So are your friends who call you names. - Robert Scoble
Allen: no. Online there is no difference. There is just ONE social graph I can have. A "friend" (online) is someone I want on that social graph. My reasoning DOES NOT MATTER. Facebook does NOT ask me "are you putting this person on your social graph because you slept with this person, or are you marketing to him/her?" Funny, Plaxo does sort of ask me to categorize people that way, though. - Robert Scoble
Robert, no, I don't think it's a position of mine to make "friend rules." ;) I'll go back to clarify, though: I thought FB had a restriction about friends, and then you asked about that friendship, and instead of going off with what I thought was FB's perception, I went off with my own. Sorry if you confused the two, but I really was NOT trying to tell you how to use the service. That's definitely not my place. - Tamar Weinberg
Let's use a simple model from economics: As the number of friend connections increases, the value of each individual friend connection is lower. - coldbrew
Tamar: good, now that you say that I'm sorry for calling you a jerk. - Robert Scoble
coldbrew: it's not a zero sum game. You are totally wrong. Adding 5,000 people to my social graph does not make my relationship with @maryamie any different. - Robert Scoble
I think everyone can agree Facebook has done a *fabulous* job at designing a service millions of people will use regularly even though it has fallen short of some people's expectations/ product implementation preference and questions loom about its revenue potential. Ok, everyone probably can't agree with that either but only because this is the internet :-) - Robert Seidman
Thank you. - Tamar Weinberg
It is a matter of discretion. I just got back from a kids bday party where I asked all the adults (~30, all professionals, non- tech related) how many FB friends they had. For everyone it was between 200 and 300. If I see that you will friend almost anyone, I'm likely to view that friend connection as "less special". I'm not sure why you want to make this a binary thing (i.e. friend or not friend) when there are obviously gradations. - coldbrew
Robert, Facebook does ask you what friend list to put them in (if you have lists). Most people IRL share more with close family and friends than they do to their fans, and many on FB do as well. So online it Does matter. - Tinfoil 2.0
Logical: yeah, here on friendfeed I use lists too. coldbrew: you're still wrong. Adding more people actually makes EVERYONE more valuable. Why? Because you can connect a wider range of people together. I know a guy on Twitter who runs a supply chain in China. I know another guy in Barcelona who owns a shipping company. If I only had one of those on my social graph I couldn't make much happen. But both together? Much more value for all of us. - Robert Scoble
coldbrew: I have a list of just my family here on friendfeed. Obviously I treat them differently than I treat you. But the fact that you are on my social graph here does not take ANYTHING away from them. In fact it adds to them. - Robert Scoble
as much as i hate to push this further as i have work to do, explain how your contacts on twitter help me "much more value for all of us" ? - Allen Stern
Hmm, I see your point. But, there is still something I can't put my finger on that you seem to be ignoring. - coldbrew
Allen: because I can get DMs from a much wider range of people than other people can. They might ask me to connect them with you. Or, I can see a wider range of inputs coming into TweetDeck so I can give you better information or tell you news before anyone else can. - Robert Scoble
coldbrew: I ignore a lot of things here, you gotta focus when you can only type a couple hundred characters at a time. The thing is these are tools and should be as flexible as possible so everyone can use them as they see fit. Why are you all here on friendfeed? Is it because you found some limitation on some other tool? That's why I'm here. - Robert Scoble
SNN = Scoble News Network - Allen Stern
I always thought it meant "Stern News Network." - Robert Scoble
Facebook should quit being tech-smart and human-stupid http://dawnsplan.wordpress.com/2009... - Dawn
Facebook MUST implement messaging options first. Where are the opt-outs? Spam filters? Priorities. - Mona Nomura
i wish they would implement groups on facebook. accessing your friends list gave you "family" "friends" "twitter" or whatever, then you could yes, limit access so a boss doesnt see your twitter updates and a complete stranger i occasionally chat to on here doesn't see my flickr list for example.. - Terry O'Fee
Uhhhhh... you can... http://www.allfacebook.com/2009... Privacy Setting Number 1. - Mona Nomura
Wow - FriendFeed really needs threaded comments - this conversation would be so much easier to follow with that. - Jesse Stay
@Mona: i suspect FB has their own priorities - .LAG liked that
Robert, I have to say I'm on your side here (while, with both sides I don't think anyone is a jerk or idiot). The great thing about Facebook, as compared to other networks, is that you *can* use it how you want. I can set my privacy settings so that those I see every day see different things than those that I don't. That's what I love about it. It gives me a way to organized those people I'm associated with. Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, and others all don't give that to me. - Jesse Stay
I don't get any messages from Facebook like I do with say - Tom from Myspace. Groups / events send me messages - and I am not a part of them. WTF is that about? I also get messages from strangers, mass messages, etc. They MUST implement a spam filter and opt-out options. Period. - Mona Nomura
but your friends list is still grouped into one page. wouldnt it be handy instead of individualy saying "this person has this" "this person has that" then "okay THIS person i'm wary of. they can go in my already pre-defined list" as you go to your friends page, know what i mean? when you check your friends page now its all one friends page - Terry O'Fee
If you have >5,000 friends then they're not real friends anyway. Facebook is not a place to massage your ego and I hope it never becomes one. - Bryce Roney
Just add them onto the list as you confirm them... - Mona Nomura
oh come on bryce... the egos will be fed wherever they go. they're shouldnt be a rule on how to use facebook. - Terry O'Fee
sorry, saw that bit mona. :P still be cool to have an option where say "really busy, just check my family friends section and off to work" - Terry O'Fee
mona - TOM! gah the bane of all us past myspace users :P - Terry O'Fee
Bryce - social networking and 'friends' are relative. It's not up to you to judge and decide what 'real friends' are and aren't. - Mona Nomura
Well Facebook's de facto mission statement (on their homepage) is "Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life." I really don't think that many people would have >5 or >6k "people in [their] life" so their shouldn't be so much pressure on Facebook to raise their limits. - Bryce Roney from IM
Again, that depends on individuals and how THEY choose to use a Social Networking site. There are MANY who need more than the 5k cap. I don't see why that should even be an issue. (Aside from spammers) I just want more messaging options. - Mona Nomura
I want more granular privacy controls on the wall (especially), networks, basic and personal info, and what non-friends can see if I reply to their message. - Tinfoil 2.0
Agreed. More granular privacy and overall control over your profile, pictures etc. would be nice. - wiredgnome
Flickr tried to cap your number of comments at 5,000 a few years back but ended up changing it to a 5,000 non-reciprocal contact limit when people freaked out over it. - Thomas Hawk
I dissapear for twelve hours and you're still going on about this. Forget the 5000, its the fifty you can converse with that matter. - Richard A.
This copyright issue seems like a much more important matter but I don't see it much talked about here yet: New laws that arrive in New Zealand on 28th February mean anyone *ACCUSED* three times of copyright infringement gets their internet connection disconnected. http://www.geekzone.co.nz/juha... No facebook friends, no internet, nothing. - jjprojects
to be fair, JJ this convo started long before this news went around, but you're right. it seems a lot of friendfeed is feeding people egos, talking about itself and memes. have a look at the whole bushfires in australia. how many of you on here even knew about it? - Terry O'Fee
I think the bushfires were headline news in many countries, but yeah, twitter took the lead there, and Duncan Riley did a good job with it everywhere :) Also, just thought I'd try and hijack this thread to bring attention to it. You can banish me now people but I don't care, it needs attention. - jjprojects
it's more important jj. i agree, in the long run who gives a shit about how many people you can add ?? - Terry O'Fee
I wish SNs had levels of friends/connections built-in (like Facebook's Circle of Friends). When I'm business-networking, I easily pick up 20-100 contacts at any workshop, and I have boxes of 3-ring-binders of contacts, but I don't want those cluttering all of my Facebook. How do I track 20 past & present close friends, 500 friends, 500 high school acquaintances, 1,000 musicians, 2,000 dancers, 2,000 college acquaintances, 50,000 work contacts (including 1,000 people I actually worked with...)? - Mitchell Tsai
For me, Facebook and LinkedIn are working like white-pages. So many people I once knew are popping out of the woodwork to say hello. Friends, acquaintances, card-playing buddies, high school classmates, clients, work colleagues, professors, etc... If I'm curious about what's happened to them in the past 5-30 years, it's a lot of fun accept their "friend" request & see what they've been doing. :-) - Mitchell Tsai
I have 300+ FB, 300+ FF, 500+ Twitter Followers, 5000+ LI friends - Daniel W. Crompton
I'm at 4900 and now having to screen requests. It sucks that my "profile" can't be converted to a "page". It doubly sucks because "pages" don't work even to a usable level on my blackberry. FB doesn't even bother to inform you of this, or even own up to the problem anywhere. What a waste of time and effort. - Faisal Qureshi
I have approx. 1200 FB friends. I created a fanpage for my small biz. Found that if I became a fan of my own fanpage, then I could keep my 1200 friends updated with what I was doing throughout the day. Even though my fanpage is for my biz, I rarely do any promoting as there is a tab available if they want to shop. I still primarily use my regular FB page to keep in touch, but I know I can use the fanpage as well which will be available should I ever reach that 5000 friend mark. I also created lists (i.e. family, friends, general public) and filtered privacy settings. - Patricia Coats
gimmie my >5K! - obesiverse