DId you know that Facebook has a limit to the number of people who can be added as “friends”? To be honest, I didn’t, but apparently if you try to add more than 5,000 people, you’re told that you’ve hit the upper limit.
I suppose when Facebook was first dreamt up, the creators thought that no-one would add even one-fifth of that many links to their account, but Mark Cuban is one person who has.
It’s happened because Facebook is used quite a lot as a way of linking up with people that you might have something in common with, even if you’ve never met them or had a meaningful online relationship.
Of course, there are people who will add absolutely anyone who contacts them, potentially leaving them open to security abuses, but I don’t think Mark fell completely into that trap. However, he did add a lot of people who he thought that he might be able to develop some kind of relationship with.
Now that Mark has had to start rejecting friend requests and scaling down his existing list, he says that he’s discovered three distinct “friendship” groups:
My new FB strategy is not exclusively about “friends” in the truest sense of the word. Its about three layers of “friends”
The first layer has my real friends. Those people who who I have actually met in real life and who I enjoy keeping in touch with. FB provides a great way to keep up with things with them via pictures, notifications, etc.
The 2nd layer is people who I have tangential connections to. They may just live in Dallas Fort Worth. They may be self proclaimed Mavs or MMA or movie fans, or in groups I’m in. For whatever reason there is something about them that I could connect to.
The 3rd layer is emerging as a very unique and interesting network in FB.
Its what I will call “The Power Layer.” These are people who in whatever industry they are in , retain some level of power. Having them as FB friends, although very simple and non committal, gives me some level of access to them, and them to me. These are people that if they sent me a FB mail, i would certainly read and respond to, and I think they would do the same.
It’s an interesting observation as it shows just one way that Facebook, and other social networks, are being used in ways beyond their original intentions. After all, Facebook started as a way of connecting college students together, but is now used as a business tool. Maybe it shouldn’t be, but then people will always take tools to their limits to fit their own purposes.
5,000 connections is just a scary amount.
Read: Mark Cuban: My new Facebook strategy
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