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.
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?