Facebook: Making Friendships Stronger

Facebook made some changes a few days ago, as usual lots of people got angry. Why? They aren’t thinking about the big picture.

But facebook is, and they’re damn good at it.

Which is why the f8 announcements that they made on Thursday won’t change “social media,” they will change the way the world communicates and how people live.

For a long time, even right now, facebook was about sharing what happened: “I went to the mall” or “Here’s a picture of me last night.” And to a lesser extent about the future: “I can’t wait until the Big Bang premiere tonight” or “Who wants to go see Moneyball with me?

But now, the third tense of time will become part of this. “Patrick is listening to Miles Davis right now.

And this is part of the new Ticker feature that came out and everyone thinks is reporting your every move to the world (it’s actually showing you stuff that you could’ve seen all along) which will turn into the ESPN Bottomline of your life. It’s not updating you on the latest scores, it’s reporting your friends’ lives. Which is what facebook is all about, right? Connecting with your friends, making friendships stronger.

There’s search and news and games, but people is the center. People.

Some people don’t like this, they say they want their privacy. By keeping that privacy though, what do you gain? (Like honestly, I can’t answer that. What are you hiding?)

Remember what Jesse Schell said, “Our grandchildren will know every book that we read. That legacy will be there and be remembered. And you get to thinking about how ‘Wow, is it possible maybe that since all this stuff is being watched and measured and judged, that maybe I should change my behavior a little bit and be a little better that I would have been?’”

Remember stronger friendships? How do you do that? Doing things together. I ask if you’ve seen Black Swan. You have, we discuss it. Kind of a shared experience, slightly stronger friendship. You and I sit down together in the theater and watch Black Swan. That’s a shared experience and a stronger friendship.

Nothing replaces that being together experience, but real time sharing of what people are doing and allowing them to do it together—even if they aren’t side-by-side—is a step in the right direction, a step toward stronger friendships.

And who doesn’t want that?

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