The you-don't-need-more-friends lobby

If you read my comments on the last post you’ll see the “Scoble-you-don’t-need-more-friends” lobby.

Someone asked why I keep pointing out the 5,000 friends limit. Why? Because I still haven’t gotten through and I’m still getting pushback from the lobby. So, let’s try one more time.

First, a “friend” in Facebook is NOT a “real friend.” (Let’s define “real friend” for now as someone who you’d invite over to your house for dinner). In social networking software a “friend” is someone you want in your social network. Period. Nothing more. The fact that people assume that you should only have “real friends” in your social network is just plain wrong. Do you only hand out business cards to “real friends?” In your contact list in Outlook or Gmail do you only have “real friends?” In your phone book do you only have “real friends?” I don’t. I have some people that I talk with all the time on my phone who I’ve never even met. Heck, I remember meeting Donncha O’Caoimh in Cork, Ireland and he kept asking me about what Matt Mullenweg was like. I thought that was funny because Donncha worked for Matt yet had never met him up to that point (Matt is the founder of Automattic, which is the company that makes the blog service Im using here).

Second, Facebook is NOT just a social networking tool. So, any limitation it has limits all the other functions. We’ll go into those in a second.

Third, Facebook’s engineers tell me that the 5,000 friend limit is there because their engines have scaling problems. In fact, I’ve noticed parts of Facebook slowed down for me at about 3,000 friends. Also lots of stuff broke and didn’t work for me (videos, for instance, didn’t work until just recently for me).

Fourth, it +is+ possible to get thousands of names in your contact list. My friend, Buzz Bruggeman, isn’t “famous” yet has 12,000 names in his Outlook contact list. He used to be a lawyer, now is CEO of ActiveWords, and is one of the world’s best networkers. Imagine you tell him he can’t put more than 5,000 names into his contact list.

Fifth, just because YOU don’t use a system in a hard-core way doesn’t mean that it should be designed for YOU. Imagine a pro camera being designed for someone who only takes pictures three times a year (which is pretty average behavior, actually). Facebook claims they are a “social utility.” Yet there are walls that it has that limit that utility for many users. Facebook employees tell me there are thousands of people who have gotten to 5,000 contacts so I’m not alone.

So, why does this matter?

Well, because inside Facebook is a competitor for these three sites:

1. Flickr. Facebook has its own photo sharing system.
2. Upcoming. Facebook has its own event sharing system.
3. YouTube. Facebook has its own video sharing system.

So, imagine that Flickr only let 5,000 people see your photos? Or that YouTube only let 5,000 watch your videos? Wouldn’t you be pissed? Wouldn’t there be massive protests?

Absolutely. Yet we accept this crappy software engineering because of the “you-don’t-need-more-friends” lobby.

The hell with the lobby.

Comments

  1. All of this points to the wider (but unnoticed by many) problem with a lot of social networks: they aim to supplant third-party services which are often far BETTER than the ones they provide. Is Flickr as an all-round photo sharing service better than Facebook’s photo sharing? Absolutely! It’s what it’s FOR, after all.

    Social networks are eventually going to have to stop trying to provide every service under the sun as their own and form partnerships and perform good integration jobs instead. Facebook’s apps are a big step in this direction: I don’t actually touch Facebook’s photo sharing unless I’m looking at somebody else’s pictures, and just publish all of mine via Flickr (and I use one of the several Flickr-Facebook apps so that people browsing to my profile know that they’re there). It works, but it doesn’t work THAT well because the integration is limited. Facebook (in this example) is in no position to dictate that I must share all of my photos through it and not the service I already have and pay for, and so IT (rather than me) should be doing the hoop-jumping to make the integration work seamlessly. The same applies to YouTube, Upcoming, del.icio.us, Twitter, and so forth.

    Ultimately, I can’t help but wonder if eventually social networks as they stand will die off, replaced with people and their blogs/homepages with something like an OpenID-based service for access control (public/friends/family access lists) and embedded metadata (e.g., FOAF) to actually describe the “network”. The existing networks, of course, could participate in this, but they don’t because they either don’t see the value, or they see it as a threat (which it is, really). I suspect it may well be where the future lies, though.

  2. All of this points to the wider (but unnoticed by many) problem with a lot of social networks: they aim to supplant third-party services which are often far BETTER than the ones they provide. Is Flickr as an all-round photo sharing service better than Facebook’s photo sharing? Absolutely! It’s what it’s FOR, after all.

    Social networks are eventually going to have to stop trying to provide every service under the sun as their own and form partnerships and perform good integration jobs instead. Facebook’s apps are a big step in this direction: I don’t actually touch Facebook’s photo sharing unless I’m looking at somebody else’s pictures, and just publish all of mine via Flickr (and I use one of the several Flickr-Facebook apps so that people browsing to my profile know that they’re there). It works, but it doesn’t work THAT well because the integration is limited. Facebook (in this example) is in no position to dictate that I must share all of my photos through it and not the service I already have and pay for, and so IT (rather than me) should be doing the hoop-jumping to make the integration work seamlessly. The same applies to YouTube, Upcoming, del.icio.us, Twitter, and so forth.

    Ultimately, I can’t help but wonder if eventually social networks as they stand will die off, replaced with people and their blogs/homepages with something like an OpenID-based service for access control (public/friends/family access lists) and embedded metadata (e.g., FOAF) to actually describe the “network”. The existing networks, of course, could participate in this, but they don’t because they either don’t see the value, or they see it as a threat (which it is, really). I suspect it may well be where the future lies, though.

  3. I know you’ve interviewed the Facebook folks before, somehow I always thought you could just, well, “ask” them to increase your limit. But, then again, I also assumed you were the only one to ever reach it, which, as you point out, isn’t the case. I guess the answer, like the answer to Twitter’s “upgrading”, is for these services to get bought by someone big, evil, and competent (like, uh, Microsoft).

  4. Actually flickr did cap the number of contacts earlier this year. I forget if it was 2000 or 3000.

    The reason was to try and prevent contact spam. You get that on twitter now too with people (or some cases websites) following thousands of people hoping some of them will follow them back out of politeness).

    A lot of people complained and they took the suggestion of one member to make the limit 3000 non-reciprocal contacts.

    But I do agree that Facebook needs to raise the limit (even though I only currently have 132 friends) & realize (like almost every internet site) people are using it for different purposes than they ever imagined.

  5. I know you’ve interviewed the Facebook folks before, somehow I always thought you could just, well, “ask” them to increase your limit. But, then again, I also assumed you were the only one to ever reach it, which, as you point out, isn’t the case. I guess the answer, like the answer to Twitter’s “upgrading”, is for these services to get bought by someone big, evil, and competent (like, uh, Microsoft).

  6. Actually flickr did cap the number of contacts earlier this year. I forget if it was 2000 or 3000.

    The reason was to try and prevent contact spam. You get that on twitter now too with people (or some cases websites) following thousands of people hoping some of them will follow them back out of politeness).

    A lot of people complained and they took the suggestion of one member to make the limit 3000 non-reciprocal contacts.

    But I do agree that Facebook needs to raise the limit (even though I only currently have 132 friends) & realize (like almost every internet site) people are using it for different purposes than they ever imagined.

  7. Nevali: that’s why a service which integrates other services, rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, will ultimately win out. And, I suspect, that service will be based around RSS coupled with a strong address book component.

  8. Nevali: that’s why a service which integrates other services, rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, will ultimately win out. And, I suspect, that service will be based around RSS coupled with a strong address book component.

  9. just because YOU want use a system in a hard-core way doesn’t mean that it should be designed for YOU.

  10. “Fifth, just because YOU don’t use a system in a hard-core way doesn’t mean that it should be designed for YOU.”

    Just because you’re a hard-core user doesn’t mean the system should be designed for you either. In fact, since you’re almost certainly an extreme case, it probably shouldn’t be designed for you. A system should be designed in a way that is going to best serve its users and make its owners the most money. If Facebook puts their resources (money, hardware, developer time) into improved scaling, so you and a few others can put more than 5000 people on their contact list, they won’t be putting those resources into something else that would benefit more of their customer base. Fixing the 5000 friend limit only really makes sense if there are more than a few people who are bumping up against it (and a lot more people who can’t be friends with a ‘whale’ because of the limit).

    Now, because you’ve got a big audience and are quite vocal about this issue, they may want to do it just so you’ll stop complaining about it. However, I still think their users would be better off if they put their resources into improvements that would benefit a broader cross section of their users. A service that tries to be all things to all people isn’t going to be very good at any of them. It’s hard, but sometimes a business just has to say to a customer, “I’m sorry, the product we’re making isn’t the product you want to buy. We’re focused on a different market.” I think that may be the case with you and Facebook.

  11. “Fifth, just because YOU don’t use a system in a hard-core way doesn’t mean that it should be designed for YOU.”

    Just because you’re a hard-core user doesn’t mean the system should be designed for you either. In fact, since you’re almost certainly an extreme case, it probably shouldn’t be designed for you. A system should be designed in a way that is going to best serve its users and make its owners the most money. If Facebook puts their resources (money, hardware, developer time) into improved scaling, so you and a few others can put more than 5000 people on their contact list, they won’t be putting those resources into something else that would benefit more of their customer base. Fixing the 5000 friend limit only really makes sense if there are more than a few people who are bumping up against it (and a lot more people who can’t be friends with a ‘whale’ because of the limit).

    Now, because you’ve got a big audience and are quite vocal about this issue, they may want to do it just so you’ll stop complaining about it. However, I still think their users would be better off if they put their resources into improvements that would benefit a broader cross section of their users. A service that tries to be all things to all people isn’t going to be very good at any of them. It’s hard, but sometimes a business just has to say to a customer, “I’m sorry, the product we’re making isn’t the product you want to buy. We’re focused on a different market.” I think that may be the case with you and Facebook.

  12. Robert, if it’s an engineering problem then does that mean it’s insurmountable or that they CAN fix it, but WON’T???

    I mean, is Facebook the pig who wished they had used bricks instead of straw but now it’s too late unless they start over, or are they the pig who did build a brick house on a strong foundation but they’re choosing not to make it any taller??

  13. Robert, if it’s an engineering problem then does that mean it’s insurmountable or that they CAN fix it, but WON’T???

    I mean, is Facebook the pig who wished they had used bricks instead of straw but now it’s too late unless they start over, or are they the pig who did build a brick house on a strong foundation but they’re choosing not to make it any taller??

  14. Some reality check for Scoble: imagine 1000 people who are connected to 5000 other people. How more efficient hardware you need to make 1000 people connect to 10 000 people?

    Well math is simple.. number of connections are in first case 1000 ^ 5000 which is 1 followed by 15 000 zeros (million is 1 followed by 6 zeros, billion 1 followed by 9 zeros… to get an idea…). In second case its 1000 ^ 10 000 what is 1 followed by 30 000 zeros). So if your system runs fine with 5000 connection and you get billion times better hardware, you can make how many connection? Well 5009. Yes that’s right. And not 10 000. To get to 10 000 you need to 1000 times upgrade your hardware everytime boosting billion times performance.

    The problem is simply not scalable. Surely not with centered architecture. Yeah, if you want it scalable write down distributed architecture, where everyone is running server on own computer and your computer will make 10000 connections to your friends… I’m not sure if your comp or ISP could handle it, but problem would be scalable. To get 20000 connection you would need only 2x better internet connection or hardware…

    I hope facebook developers aren’t so shortsighted and know why are limits and won’t give in. Because milions of people with hundreds contact will suffer because of few hundred with thousand of them.

  15. Some reality check for Scoble: imagine 1000 people who are connected to 5000 other people. How more efficient hardware you need to make 1000 people connect to 10 000 people?

    Well math is simple.. number of connections are in first case 1000 ^ 5000 which is 1 followed by 15 000 zeros (million is 1 followed by 6 zeros, billion 1 followed by 9 zeros… to get an idea…). In second case its 1000 ^ 10 000 what is 1 followed by 30 000 zeros). So if your system runs fine with 5000 connection and you get billion times better hardware, you can make how many connection? Well 5009. Yes that’s right. And not 10 000. To get to 10 000 you need to 1000 times upgrade your hardware everytime boosting billion times performance.

    The problem is simply not scalable. Surely not with centered architecture. Yeah, if you want it scalable write down distributed architecture, where everyone is running server on own computer and your computer will make 10000 connections to your friends… I’m not sure if your comp or ISP could handle it, but problem would be scalable. To get 20000 connection you would need only 2x better internet connection or hardware…

    I hope facebook developers aren’t so shortsighted and know why are limits and won’t give in. Because milions of people with hundreds contact will suffer because of few hundred with thousand of them.

  16. Hey Rob, if google realy wants to eat facebook’s part of the cake, they should hire you right now to promote their new social arena next november 5th.

    Google, you reading?

    Both win big.

  17. Hey Rob, if google realy wants to eat facebook’s part of the cake, they should hire you right now to promote their new social arena next november 5th.

    Google, you reading?

    Both win big.

  18. Now this is some discussion!

    While it may *not* be as simple a calculation about hardware as Vit Fargas has mentioned, there is still a flaw in the argument. It is utilization of available space. Now, it’s not that everyone who *can* add 10,000 friends *will*. Infact, most users will not cross that limit even if they were to start friend-spamming (if there was such a term) others. Recently Gmail upped their storage space counters and increased it’s speed. Does not mean it WILL be maxed out by each user. Infact most would use it for less than 10% space (I get more than 300 mails daily and I am still at 6%).

    Hence, I guess facebook could do away with the limits. Especially for critics that are as vocal, visible and followed as Robert.

    Cheers!

  19. Now this is some discussion!

    While it may *not* be as simple a calculation about hardware as Vit Fargas has mentioned, there is still a flaw in the argument. It is utilization of available space. Now, it’s not that everyone who *can* add 10,000 friends *will*. Infact, most users will not cross that limit even if they were to start friend-spamming (if there was such a term) others. Recently Gmail upped their storage space counters and increased it’s speed. Does not mean it WILL be maxed out by each user. Infact most would use it for less than 10% space (I get more than 300 mails daily and I am still at 6%).

    Hence, I guess facebook could do away with the limits. Especially for critics that are as vocal, visible and followed as Robert.

    Cheers!

  20. Siddharth: I can’t be sure, but from the way Robert described it, it seems unlikely to be a problem that can be solved by throwing more hardware at it (if it were, they probably would have done it by now, if just to keep him from complaining about it). Lack of scalability is generally asoftware architecture problem. Like most software problems, a fix will probably scale very well for large numbers of customers(if they fix it for one person, there’s no additional cost to fix it for everyone) but software economics suck for small numbers of customers (a software problem costs the same amount to fix whether it affects one person or 100,000 people). Hence the question: are enough people running up against this limit to make it worthwhile for Facebook to rearchitect their software to fix it?

  21. Siddharth: I can’t be sure, but from the way Robert described it, it seems unlikely to be a problem that can be solved by throwing more hardware at it (if it were, they probably would have done it by now, if just to keep him from complaining about it). Lack of scalability is generally asoftware architecture problem. Like most software problems, a fix will probably scale very well for large numbers of customers(if they fix it for one person, there’s no additional cost to fix it for everyone) but software economics suck for small numbers of customers (a software problem costs the same amount to fix whether it affects one person or 100,000 people). Hence the question: are enough people running up against this limit to make it worthwhile for Facebook to rearchitect their software to fix it?

  22. Scoble, you prove your own point when you say just because You want to use a product a certain way means it should be designed that way. You are a corner case. No software company builds its products to appeal to corner usage cases.

  23. Scoble, you prove your own point when you say just because You want to use a product a certain way means it should be designed that way. You are a corner case. No software company builds its products to appeal to corner usage cases.

  24. What I don’t understand is how MySpace allows you to have literally millions of friends, yet Facebook is stuck with an engineering problem that limits them to 5000. Could it be that the nearly universally-agreed-upon-as-crappy site is actually a much stronger platform than the poster-child of good social networking? What’s going on here?

  25. What I don’t understand is how MySpace allows you to have literally millions of friends, yet Facebook is stuck with an engineering problem that limits them to 5000. Could it be that the nearly universally-agreed-upon-as-crappy site is actually a much stronger platform than the poster-child of good social networking? What’s going on here?

  26. I made an error, it’s not so dramatical – the number of connections is just number of users times number of connections. Still taking in account that that it’s centralized solution, if everyone would use facebook to add everyone he knows, this could get quickly very messy…

    sorry

  27. I made an error, it’s not so dramatical – the number of connections is just number of users times number of connections. Still taking in account that that it’s centralized solution, if everyone would use facebook to add everyone he knows, this could get quickly very messy…

    sorry

  28. I don’t think it’s practical to build applications to meet every persons needs. You build towards your target audience. Your clearly not Facebook’s target.

    One could say they should just get rid of the “Friend” concept and make it just 1 large community.

    That said, one could *very easily* say Facebook is inept because it won’t let me bulk comment on everyone’s wall. One may need this for commercial purposes. Of course Facebook doesn’t want this. But there are easily hundreds of thousands on Facebook who want to be able to leave “commercial offers/advertisements” on everyone’s profile page.

    5000 is a pretty nice # because it limits the amount of damage anyone can do. Even the worst type of social exploits can only go so far to damage their global community. MySpace didn’t have this. MySpace, Facebook, Flickr constantly wage a war against spammers/child molesters/porn, etc. etc. Facebook has been able to avoid most of this because everyone is essentially sandboxed. You can only go so far without having enough friends. A cap on friends means you still have a limited reach.

    I’d say it’s a brilliant design. The biggest problems that face their competitors are much smaller issues for them. I’m pretty sure every company would like to be able say that. Especially in tech, normally your competitors biggest problem is yours. The winner is the one who can handle it the best and still edge out the others. Facebook can focus purely on the fight.

    Also rather well done is LinkedIn, they cured the problem by avoiding the true “social” aspect instead going for “business”. Combined with a “pro” or “paid” whatever you want to call it model. That’s left them with a fairly beneficial networking model, but their niche targeting hasn’t allowed them to bring in as much traffic.

    Nobody has solved the problems thus far as well as Facebook. Not even Google managed to pull off a community as well. Orkut’s drove Americans away by being spam filled when alternatives were open and spam free. Now it’s mainly for Latin America.

  29. I don’t think it’s practical to build applications to meet every persons needs. You build towards your target audience. Your clearly not Facebook’s target.

    One could say they should just get rid of the “Friend” concept and make it just 1 large community.

    That said, one could *very easily* say Facebook is inept because it won’t let me bulk comment on everyone’s wall. One may need this for commercial purposes. Of course Facebook doesn’t want this. But there are easily hundreds of thousands on Facebook who want to be able to leave “commercial offers/advertisements” on everyone’s profile page.

    5000 is a pretty nice # because it limits the amount of damage anyone can do. Even the worst type of social exploits can only go so far to damage their global community. MySpace didn’t have this. MySpace, Facebook, Flickr constantly wage a war against spammers/child molesters/porn, etc. etc. Facebook has been able to avoid most of this because everyone is essentially sandboxed. You can only go so far without having enough friends. A cap on friends means you still have a limited reach.

    I’d say it’s a brilliant design. The biggest problems that face their competitors are much smaller issues for them. I’m pretty sure every company would like to be able say that. Especially in tech, normally your competitors biggest problem is yours. The winner is the one who can handle it the best and still edge out the others. Facebook can focus purely on the fight.

    Also rather well done is LinkedIn, they cured the problem by avoiding the true “social” aspect instead going for “business”. Combined with a “pro” or “paid” whatever you want to call it model. That’s left them with a fairly beneficial networking model, but their niche targeting hasn’t allowed them to bring in as much traffic.

    Nobody has solved the problems thus far as well as Facebook. Not even Google managed to pull off a community as well. Orkut’s drove Americans away by being spam filled when alternatives were open and spam free. Now it’s mainly for Latin America.

  30. I believe the 5000-”friend” limit is a good thing – for the reason that it DOES limit people like Scoble.

    It really IS supposed to be for friends – or at least weak acquaintances whom you’ve at least vetted in some real way – and not a public (or worse, commercial) broadcast medium.

    If the site were wide open to those who “befriend” anyone because they believe popularity is what’s important it would quickly break down. In fact, MySpace is becoming a case in point. It’s now a commercial medium, driving the individuals to…Facebook.

    So Facebook, having learned that lesson, sacrifices the few Scobles to protect the many, um, Michaels. I like that. Don’t potentially mess me over so that Scoble can use the site to broadcast.

    One final thing – since when did people HAVE to be your friends to see your photos? And even if they did, isn’t it insanely inefficient to have to “befriend” them by the thousands?

  31. I believe the 5000-”friend” limit is a good thing – for the reason that it DOES limit people like Scoble.

    It really IS supposed to be for friends – or at least weak acquaintances whom you’ve at least vetted in some real way – and not a public (or worse, commercial) broadcast medium.

    If the site were wide open to those who “befriend” anyone because they believe popularity is what’s important it would quickly break down. In fact, MySpace is becoming a case in point. It’s now a commercial medium, driving the individuals to…Facebook.

    So Facebook, having learned that lesson, sacrifices the few Scobles to protect the many, um, Michaels. I like that. Don’t potentially mess me over so that Scoble can use the site to broadcast.

    One final thing – since when did people HAVE to be your friends to see your photos? And even if they did, isn’t it insanely inefficient to have to “befriend” them by the thousands?

  32. Michael: how can I let everyone see my videos on Facebook? I’d love to know that.

    I have more than 4,500 business cards collected in face-to-face meetings over the past seven years. Are you saying those aren’t “weak acquaintances?”

  33. Michael: how can I let everyone see my videos on Facebook? I’d love to know that.

    I have more than 4,500 business cards collected in face-to-face meetings over the past seven years. Are you saying those aren’t “weak acquaintances?”

  34. “To get to 10 000 you need to 1000 times upgrade your hardware everytime boosting billion times performance.”

    Okay, I’m not an engineer, but this sounds absurd to me.

  35. “To get to 10 000 you need to 1000 times upgrade your hardware everytime boosting billion times performance.”

    Okay, I’m not an engineer, but this sounds absurd to me.

  36. Okay, Vit retracted his remarks.

    I agree that no site can be all things to all people, but smart companies listen to customer needs. If Facebook can’t or won’t increase the 5,000, then somebody else will come along. That’s the beauty of a free market.

  37. Okay, Vit retracted his remarks.

    I agree that no site can be all things to all people, but smart companies listen to customer needs. If Facebook can’t or won’t increase the 5,000, then somebody else will come along. That’s the beauty of a free market.

  38. Robert said: “The hell with the lobby.”

    If you would take a few moments to unfriend those who disagree with you on a subject you care so passionately about, perhaps you would have room in your friend list for people who better support your positions.

    When you grow past a certain point, it’s better to use churn to improve quality. For example, once I grew to adulthood, I’d rather have a fixed amount of healthy cells, than fast-growing cancer or fat.

    What value are you getting from most of your “friends”? How can you take advantage of a network that large and shallow? I’ll bet that whatever you answer to that is, it’s not in Facebook’s mission statement.

  39. Robert said: “The hell with the lobby.”

    If you would take a few moments to unfriend those who disagree with you on a subject you care so passionately about, perhaps you would have room in your friend list for people who better support your positions.

    When you grow past a certain point, it’s better to use churn to improve quality. For example, once I grew to adulthood, I’d rather have a fixed amount of healthy cells, than fast-growing cancer or fat.

    What value are you getting from most of your “friends”? How can you take advantage of a network that large and shallow? I’ll bet that whatever you answer to that is, it’s not in Facebook’s mission statement.

  40. While I love free markets, I don’t know if someone else coming along is going to be a solution in this case. Let’s say a new social networking site comes along advertising that they allow an infinite number of friends. On the face of it, it seems like that would be appealing to people like Robert who want a lot of friends. However, it’s not really going to appeal to his 5,000+ friends, since most of them have much smaller social networks. The only reason for them to switch to another network is if Robert moves and they like him enough to give up their own networks and follow him. So a social networking site without Facebook’s limitations is only going to appeal to a relatively small number of people (the ‘few thousand’ that have run up against the limit in Facebook). If only a small number of people switch, that would really defeats the purpose of moving to a network without limits in the first place.

    IIRC Robert’s already said that he’s not going to move away from Facebook despite this limitation because it’s where all his existing friends are. The combination of the network lock-in effect and the fact that “people with more than 5000 online friends” are such a niche market is probably going to keep a competitor who makes that their selling point from succeeding.

    The only real hope I see here (aside from enough people running up against this barrier to make it worthwhile for Facebook to rearchitect) is for a competing social networking site to arise that has enough improvements and cool features to get lots of people to switch AND just happens to scale for large numbers of friends much better than Facebook does. The obvious candidate to fill this role is Google. They have experience creating products that are able to take market share away from established competitors (even in fields with lock-in effects) and they’re better than anyone else in the world at building software that’s massively scalable.

    I’ll just add that while I think that not addressing the 5000 user limit makes sense for Facebook from a business point of view, this is really something they should have seen coming. Online relationships have long been known to display “small world” characteristics, and one of those characteristics is the presence of hubs, individuals with huge numbers of connections. Even before social networking sites existed, it was quite easy for someone with knowlege of small-world networks to predict that there would be some people would end up with a lot of online friends. If Facebook had done a little research they could have recognized this from the beginning and built their software to accommodate it much more easily than trying to go back and retrofit it now.

  41. While I love free markets, I don’t know if someone else coming along is going to be a solution in this case. Let’s say a new social networking site comes along advertising that they allow an infinite number of friends. On the face of it, it seems like that would be appealing to people like Robert who want a lot of friends. However, it’s not really going to appeal to his 5,000+ friends, since most of them have much smaller social networks. The only reason for them to switch to another network is if Robert moves and they like him enough to give up their own networks and follow him. So a social networking site without Facebook’s limitations is only going to appeal to a relatively small number of people (the ‘few thousand’ that have run up against the limit in Facebook). If only a small number of people switch, that would really defeats the purpose of moving to a network without limits in the first place.

    IIRC Robert’s already said that he’s not going to move away from Facebook despite this limitation because it’s where all his existing friends are. The combination of the network lock-in effect and the fact that “people with more than 5000 online friends” are such a niche market is probably going to keep a competitor who makes that their selling point from succeeding.

    The only real hope I see here (aside from enough people running up against this barrier to make it worthwhile for Facebook to rearchitect) is for a competing social networking site to arise that has enough improvements and cool features to get lots of people to switch AND just happens to scale for large numbers of friends much better than Facebook does. The obvious candidate to fill this role is Google. They have experience creating products that are able to take market share away from established competitors (even in fields with lock-in effects) and they’re better than anyone else in the world at building software that’s massively scalable.

    I’ll just add that while I think that not addressing the 5000 user limit makes sense for Facebook from a business point of view, this is really something they should have seen coming. Online relationships have long been known to display “small world” characteristics, and one of those characteristics is the presence of hubs, individuals with huge numbers of connections. Even before social networking sites existed, it was quite easy for someone with knowlege of small-world networks to predict that there would be some people would end up with a lot of online friends. If Facebook had done a little research they could have recognized this from the beginning and built their software to accommodate it much more easily than trying to go back and retrofit it now.

  42. Scob- You know it’s an engineer problem, c’mon. 5K friends is an edge case. Not many people probably have 5K friends. So if I’m a PM at FB I’m ranking this feature against more highly used or competitive features. Sorry man, it’s the price you pay for being popular :)

    Ryan

  43. Scob- You know it’s an engineer problem, c’mon. 5K friends is an edge case. Not many people probably have 5K friends. So if I’m a PM at FB I’m ranking this feature against more highly used or competitive features. Sorry man, it’s the price you pay for being popular :)

    Ryan

  44. Are you insane? I couldn’t care less how many “friends” you have, but you’re asking Facebook to support what you and “thousands” have when their service has MILLIONS of users. They’d be NUTS to cater to such a tiny percentage of their base no matter how whiney those users become. And, believe me, you’re being pretty whiney.

    While they’re busy building a site that scales for you and a few thousand others, Google or somebody else will offer a site with added features for the millions of users who will desert Facebook for it. Features Facebook would have had if they weren’t wasting their time trying to keep you happy.

    Facebook still hasn’t figured out how to make money, but I can guarantee them that wasting resources on such a small fraction of their base in not it. Unless they charged for the “Facebook Pro” you want them to build.

  45. Are you insane? I couldn’t care less how many “friends” you have, but you’re asking Facebook to support what you and “thousands” have when their service has MILLIONS of users. They’d be NUTS to cater to such a tiny percentage of their base no matter how whiney those users become. And, believe me, you’re being pretty whiney.

    While they’re busy building a site that scales for you and a few thousand others, Google or somebody else will offer a site with added features for the millions of users who will desert Facebook for it. Features Facebook would have had if they weren’t wasting their time trying to keep you happy.

    Facebook still hasn’t figured out how to make money, but I can guarantee them that wasting resources on such a small fraction of their base in not it. Unless they charged for the “Facebook Pro” you want them to build.

  46. Deja vu. We had this debate 2-3 years ago on LinkedIn, between those who amassed 5k-7k (in one famous case 16K) and those who thought your online network should be as reflection of your real-life one, typically maxing out at a few hundred – the latter appeared to be the majority opinion.

    Now we have a new platform, and here we start again not having learned anything…

  47. Deja vu. We had this debate 2-3 years ago on LinkedIn, between those who amassed 5k-7k (in one famous case 16K) and those who thought your online network should be as reflection of your real-life one, typically maxing out at a few hundred – the latter appeared to be the majority opinion.

    Now we have a new platform, and here we start again not having learned anything…

  48. Now you’ve made me think about the approaches to what “friends” are to different people. I lean toward only adding people I’ve actually met and known for a bit — or those I’ve known and would invite for dinner. But that’s just my personal preference and I wholly agree that your approach is certainly valid and probably very useful. Really, you should be able to have 50,000 social network contacts if you wanted to. Although I wonder how many vampires invititions you would receive per day then?

    It seems that FB was willing to open the doors to the rest of us, without fully considering the multitude of uses their new customers might need. Or perhaps they did and weren’t able or willing to accomodate it? Maybe this opens the door for ScoBook?

  49. Now you’ve made me think about the approaches to what “friends” are to different people. I lean toward only adding people I’ve actually met and known for a bit — or those I’ve known and would invite for dinner. But that’s just my personal preference and I wholly agree that your approach is certainly valid and probably very useful. Really, you should be able to have 50,000 social network contacts if you wanted to. Although I wonder how many vampires invititions you would receive per day then?

    It seems that FB was willing to open the doors to the rest of us, without fully considering the multitude of uses their new customers might need. Or perhaps they did and weren’t able or willing to accomodate it? Maybe this opens the door for ScoBook?

  50. Yeah, Robert – Facebook should cater to the minority that wants to have more than 5000 friends.

    In fact, they should make this a bigger priority than anything else they may have on their plate. I recommend you petition your 5000 friends to make a big hue and cry about this.

  51. Yeah, Robert – Facebook should cater to the minority that wants to have more than 5000 friends.

    In fact, they should make this a bigger priority than anything else they may have on their plate. I recommend you petition your 5000 friends to make a big hue and cry about this.

  52. They really need to put the resources into fixing it. Imagine if they wanted to start to take some of MySpace’s market in letting say, music artists set up profile pages. I guarantee, some artists would probably hit 5K in a matter of hours. Not to mention all of the other reasons that have been given.

  53. @24 “Michael: how can I let everyone see my videos on Facebook? I’d love to know that.”

    Uhhhhh…doesn’t everyone that has access to facebook have access to the internet? Thus, can’t they get to your videos via your blog, PodTech, etc? Why does Facebook have to be the vehicle to serve them up?

  54. They really need to put the resources into fixing it. Imagine if they wanted to start to take some of MySpace’s market in letting say, music artists set up profile pages. I guarantee, some artists would probably hit 5K in a matter of hours. Not to mention all of the other reasons that have been given.

  55. @24 “Michael: how can I let everyone see my videos on Facebook? I’d love to know that.”

    Uhhhhh…doesn’t everyone that has access to facebook have access to the internet? Thus, can’t they get to your videos via your blog, PodTech, etc? Why does Facebook have to be the vehicle to serve them up?

  56. Robert, much as I appreciate your work, I have some disagreement with you on this. First of all, Flickr is not the best example. To upload more than a certain number of pictures a month you have to pay. This rules it out for quite a few people, or they end up improvising of paying.

    Second, while it is true there could be scaling issues, you develop software for a market, not a customer. So unless the Facebook market moves towards users with 1000′s of contacts, then the limit might not be a bad idea.

    That said, if it is a scaling issue, they need to address it, since markets do change.

  57. Robert, much as I appreciate your work, I have some disagreement with you on this. First of all, Flickr is not the best example. To upload more than a certain number of pictures a month you have to pay. This rules it out for quite a few people, or they end up improvising of paying.

    Second, while it is true there could be scaling issues, you develop software for a market, not a customer. So unless the Facebook market moves towards users with 1000′s of contacts, then the limit might not be a bad idea.

    That said, if it is a scaling issue, they need to address it, since markets do change.

  58. I think the 5000 friend limit is fine. For most, Facebook is meant to be for a network of real friends.

    You’re an outlier and I respect that you can voice your opinion, but I’m certain Facebook has their priorities and the guts to forego pleasing those with the loudest voices. Frankly, I don’t think this is a pressing issue for Facebook’s core audience.

    But of course, you’re entitled to complain and gloat about having 5000 friends :)

  59. I think the 5000 friend limit is fine. For most, Facebook is meant to be for a network of real friends.

    You’re an outlier and I respect that you can voice your opinion, but I’m certain Facebook has their priorities and the guts to forego pleasing those with the loudest voices. Frankly, I don’t think this is a pressing issue for Facebook’s core audience.

    But of course, you’re entitled to complain and gloat about having 5000 friends :)

  60. Robert you have a neat way to define “friend” but you are wrong about the 5k limit, which is perfectly reasonable. Obviously this affects you greatly, but you are a very extraordinary social networker and therefore exception to even “super duper heavy users”. I’d guess that less than 1 in 1000 FB users will ever have a problem with the 5000 limit. Scaling the system to meet that need a this time is not a reasonable request for the reasons others mention above.

    Why can’t you just get them to allow you two profiles? This would mean more management for you but it would allow you to fit in all your peeps…

  61. Robert you have a neat way to define “friend” but you are wrong about the 5k limit, which is perfectly reasonable. Obviously this affects you greatly, but you are a very extraordinary social networker and therefore exception to even “super duper heavy users”. I’d guess that less than 1 in 1000 FB users will ever have a problem with the 5000 limit. Scaling the system to meet that need a this time is not a reasonable request for the reasons others mention above.

    Why can’t you just get them to allow you two profiles? This would mean more management for you but it would allow you to fit in all your peeps…

  62. I’m much more concerned about the fact that Facebook decides what I can do with my frends network, than the technical limit of 5000. While the user does all the work building these networks, Facebook puts up this walled garden to ensure they can monetize that. But hey, did I really ask for that? Can’t even export my network or my data. This, and nine more wishes for improvements on web 2.0 from a user’s perspective are written in my post here:
    http://vanelsas.wordpress.com/2007/10/11/10-ways-to-improve-web-20-and-move-into-an-era-of-true-interaction/

  63. I’m much more concerned about the fact that Facebook decides what I can do with my frends network, than the technical limit of 5000. While the user does all the work building these networks, Facebook puts up this walled garden to ensure they can monetize that. But hey, did I really ask for that? Can’t even export my network or my data. This, and nine more wishes for improvements on web 2.0 from a user’s perspective are written in my post here:
    http://vanelsas.wordpress.com/2007/10/11/10-ways-to-improve-web-20-and-move-into-an-era-of-true-interaction/

  64. It would be interesting to have a social app that limited you to 150 friends and then allowed you to still read and join conversations of all but still mapped out your social graph. So everyone can only follow 150 people but could be followed by as many as follow them. I would like to see that graph.

  65. It would be interesting to have a social app that limited you to 150 friends and then allowed you to still read and join conversations of all but still mapped out your social graph. So everyone can only follow 150 people but could be followed by as many as follow them. I would like to see that graph.

  66. Robert:

    Click Photos on your profile; create photo album; set it to be visible to everyone.

    Presto.

    I can’t believe you couldn’t find that.

  67. Robert:

    Click Photos on your profile; create photo album; set it to be visible to everyone.

    Presto.

    I can’t believe you couldn’t find that.

  68. Sorry, Robert, I have to disagree with you here.

    If my understanding is correct, you add anyone as a friend who has asked you to be their “friend” on Facebook. Meaning… you’re willing to add someone whom you’ve never met, never chatted with, probably never even exchanged an e-mail with.

    If everyone did that on Facebook, the social graph would become meaningless. Everyone would be “friends” with everyone, and thus browsing through friends-of-friends or doing other stuff through (theoretically) trusted network links would end up completely foobar’d.

    So, frankly, I’m glad that Facebook has a 5K friend limit. Perhaps even 2K would be more reasonable. As others have noted, I’d rather Facebook spend their time and resources on more interesting, more broadly useful projects and expansions.

  69. Sorry, Robert, I have to disagree with you here.

    If my understanding is correct, you add anyone as a friend who has asked you to be their “friend” on Facebook. Meaning… you’re willing to add someone whom you’ve never met, never chatted with, probably never even exchanged an e-mail with.

    If everyone did that on Facebook, the social graph would become meaningless. Everyone would be “friends” with everyone, and thus browsing through friends-of-friends or doing other stuff through (theoretically) trusted network links would end up completely foobar’d.

    So, frankly, I’m glad that Facebook has a 5K friend limit. Perhaps even 2K would be more reasonable. As others have noted, I’d rather Facebook spend their time and resources on more interesting, more broadly useful projects and expansions.

  70. And since I’m doing multireplies, a business card often isn’t even a weak acquaintance – it’s a random guy who handed me a business card. Maybe you only accept them from people whom you’ve had at least pleasurable conversation with, but that would be outside the norm.

  71. And since I’m doing multireplies, a business card often isn’t even a weak acquaintance – it’s a random guy who handed me a business card. Maybe you only accept them from people whom you’ve had at least pleasurable conversation with, but that would be outside the norm.

  72. They should allow you to have as many friends as you like. But doesn’t there have to limit.I mean how many friends can you have before Facebook crashes. I sorta wonder what happens when you get more than a million friends. Which probably would not be out of the question for the popular folks. Whats the “Physical limit”?..Is there one?.And at some point you would have to think about managing that many friends. I mean say u messaged them all. You know ppl would abuse the hell outta that.

  73. They should allow you to have as many friends as you like. But doesn’t there have to limit.I mean how many friends can you have before Facebook crashes. I sorta wonder what happens when you get more than a million friends. Which probably would not be out of the question for the popular folks. Whats the “Physical limit”?..Is there one?.And at some point you would have to think about managing that many friends. I mean say u messaged them all. You know ppl would abuse the hell outta that.

  74. You could just setup a my.9r account and have everything aggregated to one page to let the world see it. You have to figure though people like you will never be satisfied because if you get a raise in the limit you will reach that and then just go around looking for another raise. The cycle never stops. Honestly nothing really different than just typing on this blog or another one what you are doing.

    - Blog
    - Twitter/Jaiku
    - Flickr
    - YouTube

    And yet we are still wanting Facebook to be the end all solution? Not gonna happen.

  75. You could just setup a my.9r account and have everything aggregated to one page to let the world see it. You have to figure though people like you will never be satisfied because if you get a raise in the limit you will reach that and then just go around looking for another raise. The cycle never stops. Honestly nothing really different than just typing on this blog or another one what you are doing.

    - Blog
    - Twitter/Jaiku
    - Flickr
    - YouTube

    And yet we are still wanting Facebook to be the end all solution? Not gonna happen.

  76. I really hope Facebook ignore your whining. You’re an edge case, and you know it – albeit a vocal one. You know you have a large soapbox to shout from, so behave responsibly about it. Facebook is a great service for millions of users. And it’s a not-so-great service for the (generously) hundreds of users who want to collect thousands of “friends” to boost their egos. They’d be fools to listen to you. I hope they reduce the cap to 1000.

  77. I really hope Facebook ignore your whining. You’re an edge case, and you know it – albeit a vocal one. You know you have a large soapbox to shout from, so behave responsibly about it. Facebook is a great service for millions of users. And it’s a not-so-great service for the (generously) hundreds of users who want to collect thousands of “friends” to boost their egos. They’d be fools to listen to you. I hope they reduce the cap to 1000.

  78. Note that probably most of these “people” who have thousands of contacts on Facebook are spammers who use it to promote all kinds of “money making” schemes

  79. Note that probably most of these “people” who have thousands of contacts on Facebook are spammers who use it to promote all kinds of “money making” schemes

  80. One of the reasons I DON’T use MySpace is the fact that it’s a repository for these huge marketing pushes. I want something that is smaller and more personal. That connects me with just the people that I have in my network and isn’t inundated with spam. I have stuck with Friendster for so long because my network has remained small — although I was getting too much spammy friend contacts there for awhile.

    And anyone that collects 5,000 business cards at a face-to-face meeting either isn’t remembering your face. Or isn’t someone that I want to know or do business with. Who actually likes a networker. Networker=tool.

    Social groups are meant to be small. It’s not a contest to see how many contacts you can amass. It’s actually quite the opposite. It’s about quality over quantity.

    At least it is with me. I want to know that when I’m making contact with someone that I’m one of a handful. Not one of thousands. I value the contact more and I value the implied judgement of worthiness that comes with it.

  81. One of the reasons I DON’T use MySpace is the fact that it’s a repository for these huge marketing pushes. I want something that is smaller and more personal. That connects me with just the people that I have in my network and isn’t inundated with spam. I have stuck with Friendster for so long because my network has remained small — although I was getting too much spammy friend contacts there for awhile.

    And anyone that collects 5,000 business cards at a face-to-face meeting either isn’t remembering your face. Or isn’t someone that I want to know or do business with. Who actually likes a networker. Networker=tool.

    Social groups are meant to be small. It’s not a contest to see how many contacts you can amass. It’s actually quite the opposite. It’s about quality over quantity.

    At least it is with me. I want to know that when I’m making contact with someone that I’m one of a handful. Not one of thousands. I value the contact more and I value the implied judgement of worthiness that comes with it.

  82. Limits are good.

    There are millions of places to be public on the internet and build relationships. Your own blog is one.

    Facebook isn’t an address book — its design is to pipe “friend” activity back to you in a very active way. If you’re pushing 10,000 contact as you claim some do, I highly doubt those people are seeking pushed information back to them about those 10,000 at the micro level Facebook is designed to facilitate.

    Yes, “friends” are not only friends, but they’re more than social bookmarks, too. And Facebook is more than just a place to promote yourself and your other blogs.

  83. Limits are good.

    There are millions of places to be public on the internet and build relationships. Your own blog is one.

    Facebook isn’t an address book — its design is to pipe “friend” activity back to you in a very active way. If you’re pushing 10,000 contact as you claim some do, I highly doubt those people are seeking pushed information back to them about those 10,000 at the micro level Facebook is designed to facilitate.

    Yes, “friends” are not only friends, but they’re more than social bookmarks, too. And Facebook is more than just a place to promote yourself and your other blogs.

  84. [...] everything above) famously hit Facebook’s 5000 friend limit and has recently revealed that he is not alone in this milestone, that thousands have hit the limit (now, can you see why Facebook is worth $15 [...]

  85. The main problem is that we’re trying to manage our contacts lists *online* None of these services require us to be using a client/server model via webpages. Last I checked, I had plenty of of CPU capability to handle much more than 5000 contacts.

    The other side effect of this phenomenon is the outright extravertedly public way it all happens. My friends are none of your business, even if you are my friend.

  86. The main problem is that we’re trying to manage our contacts lists *online* None of these services require us to be using a client/server model via webpages. Last I checked, I had plenty of of CPU capability to handle much more than 5000 contacts.

    The other side effect of this phenomenon is the outright extravertedly public way it all happens. My friends are none of your business, even if you are my friend.

  87. Beginner’s 5 Step Guide to Using LinkedIn and Facebook

    The topic of Facebook vs. LinkedIn is like humidity in Miami – always present. And perhaps as hot too. Zoli brings up the topic again with his post titled Facebook Just Ain’t For Business, Get Over It…

  88. [...] I saw Robert Scoble post about Facebook ad noseum.  I think he has to get a commission or something from Facebook or maybe he got a finder’s fee for Microsoft’s recent investment, which probably made him very happy.  I tried to add him as a friend but I got a notice saying he has too many friends [...]

  89. is this about nonfiction or dont need friends book please tell me that or I ‘ll find out please thank you I like this book is it fiction i hate fiction I like non fiction dont give me books are fiction thank you my name is sapana I will save this page thank you for me conct me please and thank you I have a book that is owen &mzee i’m doing a project about at home today is tued=sday 27 2007 please contct me i will come tommorww too see you at tommorw wednesday 28 thank you contact me sapana bye see you later sapanaa fadg334@hotmail.com bye sappana

  90. is this about nonfiction or dont need friends book please tell me that or I ‘ll find out please thank you I like this book is it fiction i hate fiction I like non fiction dont give me books are fiction thank you my name is sapana I will save this page thank you for me conct me please and thank you I have a book that is owen &mzee i’m doing a project about at home today is tued=sday 27 2007 please contct me i will come tommorww too see you at tommorw wednesday 28 thank you contact me sapana bye see you later sapanaa fadg334@hotmail.com bye sappana

  91. i was talking about owen & mzee
    thank you by joe
    today is my friend’s birthday 67
    bn facebook
    everything girl
    facebook.com

  92. i was talking about owen & mzee
    thank you by joe
    today is my friend’s birthday 67
    bn facebook
    everything girl
    facebook.com

  93. hi IYes, “friends” are not only friends, but they’re more than social bookmarks, too. And Facebook is more than just a place to promote yourself and your other blogs[…] I saw Robert Scoble post about Facebook ad noseum. I think he has to get a commission or something from Facebook or maybe he got a finder’s fee for Microsoft’s recent investment, which probably made him very happy. I tried to add him as a friend but I got a notice saying he has too many friends […]
    […] recently read a post on Scobleizer ranting about Facebook’s 5,000 friends limit and it had the following quote: First, a […]

    Pingback by FacebookTalk.com – Facebook Hacks, Tricks, Tips, ASCII, and Apps – All in one blog! — October 15, 2007 @ 2:27 pm

    […] constantly harping on Facebook for not giving you the ability to add more than 5,000 friends. Every day, you’ve got at least one post complaining about Facebook capping your friend limit. […]

    Pingback by Dear Robert Scoble « the j. botter weblog — October 15, 2007 @ 2:58 pm

    […] everything above) famously hit Facebook’s 5000 friend limit and has recently revealed that he is not alone in this milestone, that thousands have hit the limit (now, can you see why Facebook is worth $15 […]

    Pingback by Life & Scalability — October 15, 2007 @ 6

    Pingback by entrepreMusings » Why I Finally

  94. hi IYes, “friends” are not only friends, but they’re more than social bookmarks, too. And Facebook is more than just a place to promote yourself and your other blogs[…] I saw Robert Scoble post about Facebook ad noseum. I think he has to get a commission or something from Facebook or maybe he got a finder’s fee for Microsoft’s recent investment, which probably made him very happy. I tried to add him as a friend but I got a notice saying he has too many friends […]
    […] recently read a post on Scobleizer ranting about Facebook’s 5,000 friends limit and it had the following quote: First, a […]

    Pingback by FacebookTalk.com – Facebook Hacks, Tricks, Tips, ASCII, and Apps – All in one blog! — October 15, 2007 @ 2:27 pm

    […] constantly harping on Facebook for not giving you the ability to add more than 5,000 friends. Every day, you’ve got at least one post complaining about Facebook capping your friend limit. […]

    Pingback by Dear Robert Scoble « the j. botter weblog — October 15, 2007 @ 2:58 pm

    […] everything above) famously hit Facebook’s 5000 friend limit and has recently revealed that he is not alone in this milestone, that thousands have hit the limit (now, can you see why Facebook is worth $15 […]

    Pingback by Life & Scalability — October 15, 2007 @ 6

    Pingback by entrepreMusings » Why I Finally

  95. hi IYes, “friends” are not only friends, but they’re more than social bookmarks, too. And Facebook is more than just a place to promote yourself and your other blogs[…] I saw Robert Scoble post about Facebook ad noseum. I think he has to get a commission or something from Facebook or maybe he got a finder’s fee for Microsoft’s recent investment, which probably made him very happy. I tried to add him as a friend but I got a notice saying he has too many friends […]
    […] recently read a post on Scobleizer ranting about Facebook’s 5,000 friends limit and it had the following quote: First, a […]

    im the folling one lol loohflgkg
    gjopjoj wrong time it is 5;46 pm caall me later loser lololollll please talk to me lol 5;47 lol kk bye i hate my bro kkkkkklklkklllkllkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

  96. hi IYes, “friends” are not only friends, but they’re more than social bookmarks, too. And Facebook is more than just a place to promote yourself and your other blogs[…] I saw Robert Scoble post about Facebook ad noseum. I think he has to get a commission or something from Facebook or maybe he got a finder’s fee for Microsoft’s recent investment, which probably made him very happy. I tried to add him as a friend but I got a notice saying he has too many friends […]
    […] recently read a post on Scobleizer ranting about Facebook’s 5,000 friends limit and it had the following quote: First, a […]

    im the folling one lol loohflgkg
    gjopjoj wrong time it is 5;46 pm caall me later loser lololollll please talk to me lol 5;47 lol kk bye i hate my bro kkkkkklklkklllkllkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

  97. wilt chamberlain slept with over 20,000 women. if he wanted to use facebook to keep track of his friends, he would have been screwed (literally)

  98. wilt chamberlain slept with over 20,000 women. if he wanted to use facebook to keep track of his friends, he would have been screwed (literally)

  99. First time my profile was deleted,which was sometime last year, it was because of too many friend request.

    Recently, it has been deleted due to sending/recieving too many messages.

    Unfortunately, neither of which has been reinstated.

    Should I just create a new page and start all over again? Or fight to have my profiles operative once again?

  100. First time my profile was deleted,which was sometime last year, it was because of too many friend request.

    Recently, it has been deleted due to sending/recieving too many messages.

    Unfortunately, neither of which has been reinstated.

    Should I just create a new page and start all over again? Or fight to have my profiles operative once again?

  101. I don’t know why people get so hung up over this. If you want 5000 friends, so what? If you want to ‘keep it real’ with people you really know, then that’s fine too.

    Personally I’m looking for Whale status so I can make new friends that I wouldn’t have the opportunity to do without the web, so friend me now!

  102. I don’t know why people get so hung up over this. If you want 5000 friends, so what? If you want to ‘keep it real’ with people you really know, then that’s fine too.

    Personally I’m looking for Whale status so I can make new friends that I wouldn’t have the opportunity to do without the web, so friend me now!

  103. I have almost 1,700 friends already and have a dozen groups with about 20,000 more friends ( not all unique )

    Scoble is not alone here, I have a dozen group creators and other **friends** whom are nearly at 3500 friends.

    The fact that Scoble has/had 5000 and was one of about a thousand users at the limit, doesn’t mean that there aren’t 20-50,000 of us clawing up the same ladder at our own pace.

    I stopped personally adding friends that I didn’t know directly in life, when I had about 260, since then people have added me for their own myriad reasons.

    I expect my 1700 to grow to about 3-4,000 in a few months.

    The more profound and interesting things you write, is the more likely that certain types/groups of people will be attracted to your way of thinking and simply add you as a friend.

    If 10-15,000 people think they would like to add me as a friend, why shouldn’t they be allowed to do so?

  104. I have almost 1,700 friends already and have a dozen groups with about 20,000 more friends ( not all unique )

    Scoble is not alone here, I have a dozen group creators and other **friends** whom are nearly at 3500 friends.

    The fact that Scoble has/had 5000 and was one of about a thousand users at the limit, doesn’t mean that there aren’t 20-50,000 of us clawing up the same ladder at our own pace.

    I stopped personally adding friends that I didn’t know directly in life, when I had about 260, since then people have added me for their own myriad reasons.

    I expect my 1700 to grow to about 3-4,000 in a few months.

    The more profound and interesting things you write, is the more likely that certain types/groups of people will be attracted to your way of thinking and simply add you as a friend.

    If 10-15,000 people think they would like to add me as a friend, why shouldn’t they be allowed to do so?

  105. Late to commenting on this Robert, but I came across this post of your while looking for information on this subject ( as usual). Turns out that some of the celebrities we have worked with on Rabbit Bites are unable to “friend” anyone. Most of them get too many requests and the accounts lock up. It’s dumb.

    Buzz is awesome btw and we’ll be doing a post soon about Activewords. Activewords blows away it’s competition in many ways.

  106. Late to commenting on this Robert, but I came across this post of your while looking for information on this subject ( as usual). Turns out that some of the celebrities we have worked with on Rabbit Bites are unable to “friend” anyone. Most of them get too many requests and the accounts lock up. It’s dumb.

    Buzz is awesome btw and we’ll be doing a post soon about Activewords. Activewords blows away it’s competition in many ways.

  107. i have also noticed facebook slowing down when i hit 3000 friends, its so slow its near impossible to invite people to an event

  108. i have also noticed facebook slowing down when i hit 3000 friends, its so slow its near impossible to invite people to an event

  109. Ahh mac d, so you’re the one doing all the inviting, ha ha, just kidding.
    Haven’t been here in a while, but I am just a few hundred short of 5,000 myself and the big disadvantage is that many facebook applications that are using the sample facebook php code won’t let me in to interact or play.

    Its because I have to many friends, and when the php code that facebook gave everyone to use, goes out to my friends list, the size of the list causes the arrays to bomb hence very few applications allow me to play.

    Facebook themselves must have seen this and fixed it in a few areas, but the faulty array code is still sitting in the sample code that they gave everyone else to use.

    I have seen the code and seen it throw errors on apache/php irrespective of how much memory you reasonably give each php processes.

    So, currently and for the past 10 months or more, there are technical limitations when one starts to approach even 4000 friends.

  110. Ahh mac d, so you’re the one doing all the inviting, ha ha, just kidding.
    Haven’t been here in a while, but I am just a few hundred short of 5,000 myself and the big disadvantage is that many facebook applications that are using the sample facebook php code won’t let me in to interact or play.

    Its because I have to many friends, and when the php code that facebook gave everyone to use, goes out to my friends list, the size of the list causes the arrays to bomb hence very few applications allow me to play.

    Facebook themselves must have seen this and fixed it in a few areas, but the faulty array code is still sitting in the sample code that they gave everyone else to use.

    I have seen the code and seen it throw errors on apache/php irrespective of how much memory you reasonably give each php processes.

    So, currently and for the past 10 months or more, there are technical limitations when one starts to approach even 4000 friends.

  111. Facebook was never supposed to be used as a business tool. You compare it to the phonebook and business cards which is ignorant. Facebook started out as an easy way for students to keep in contact with one another. It was never meant to be abused for spamming or as a way to stroke anyone’s GIANT ego by seeing if one could con 5000 (mostly total strangers) to add to your “friend” list. As for me, I would NEVER request to be added to a person’s friend list if I didn’t have some sort of connection to that person. Sorry Ms. 5000 but you don’t get any sympathy from me. Sounds like you need another hobby!

  112. Facebook was never supposed to be used as a business tool. You compare it to the phonebook and business cards which is ignorant. Facebook started out as an easy way for students to keep in contact with one another. It was never meant to be abused for spamming or as a way to stroke anyone’s GIANT ego by seeing if one could con 5000 (mostly total strangers) to add to your “friend” list. As for me, I would NEVER request to be added to a person’s friend list if I didn’t have some sort of connection to that person. Sorry Ms. 5000 but you don’t get any sympathy from me. Sounds like you need another hobby!

  113. actually website such facebook and flickr which has implemented web 2.0 hierarchy int their scripting are well more easy to use and attract for new user in the social network service (sns)

  114. actually website such facebook and flickr which has implemented web 2.0 hierarchy int their scripting are well more easy to use and attract for new user in the social network service (sns)

  115. lol “the hell with the lobby” ha! I like your style of writing man! It's pretty dumb..this limit because I;m networking heavy as I'm restarting my career as an entertainment writer after a 3 yr break. Things have changed a lot in those few years and now I see networking limits? The hell?! What gives!

  116. lol “the hell with the lobby” ha! I like your style of writing man! It's pretty dumb..this limit because I;m networking heavy as I'm restarting my career as an entertainment writer after a 3 yr break. Things have changed a lot in those few years and now I see networking limits? The hell?! What gives!