My suggestion for Facebook

A long time ago my university friends and myself used to use this thing called Myspace as a social network site – before it effectively became a music site.  Facebook turned up, and it destroyed Myspace – leading us to crawl over and make Facebook accounts.

My guess is this happened because Myspace pages were so clunky, busy, and confusing – you would go to write something to a friend and you would get your eyes molested by a set of animated gifs and your ears ripped open by whatever terrible music they liked.  There was also another feature Myspace had that would wind people up – top friends.

In Myspace you would choose your “top friends” for everyone to see.  People would constantly change these, knocking people off the list to upset them, or switching people around following any sort of conversation.  It is all a bit childish – but I think Facebook could introduce something similar in order to increase revenue.

Myspace friends ....

Simply put, Facebook could introduce their own top friends feature – however, have it based on the amount of interaction between people on Facebook.  By doing this, people who care about being on top friends lists will use Facebook more, increasing hours and pushing up advertising revenue.

If there is anything Myspace showed me, its that there was a group of people who took the idea of being a “top friend” seriously – lets not try to understand why.  Given these people are now on Facebook, it is undeniable that they would make a concerted effort to get up their friends top friends list – thereby triggering more ad revenue for Facebook as an organisation.  Do you think this would work – and what do you think the downsides are?

8 replies
  1. Eric Crampton
    Eric Crampton says:

    I favour this. That those who care a lot about being on top friend lists wind up being sequestered away on Facebook where they cannot damage the real world is a good thing.

  2. Seamus Hogan
    Seamus Hogan says:

    Of course, you will not only get the social strains of people wanting to be higher up their friends “top friend” list, but also the petty jealousy of your boyfriend/girlfriend insisting that you organise things so that his or her rival moves further down the list. I guess you could always get around that by having the rival rename themselves as “poison control” on Facebook!

  3. Kimble
    Kimble says:

    So your idea is to create an incentive for Facebook users to spam their ‘friends’, in the hope they will click on more ads?

    I would sell a spam-bot that will go through your friends list and send somewhat appropriate messages, like ‘Happy Birthday’ on their birthday, as well as automated responses to anything they post on your wall.

    I will call it Everyones Bestest Friend, and I figure if you actually care about being #1, you would care enough to spend $20 to get there. 

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