A few weeks ago I read this Uncrunched post about how Facebook is too crowded due to the mad accumulation of Facebook Friends that was fashionable back … ohhh …. 2 years ago.

In the post, Michael Arrington floats the idea that Facebook should auto suggest that you UnFriend people who have have very little interaction with (or the least interaction with) just as they automatically suggest people who you might want to Friend.

I asked this (ironically) on Twitter tonight, and here were some of the responses:

So…. a mixed response.

On Twitter, there are loads of services that will help you mass unfollow Twitter accounts such as TwitCleaner or UnTweeps. These are great for weeding out from your Following count accounts which no longer tweet, or people who just RT and that’s it, and other annoying tweeps. But the reason these tools are so popular is that these don’t affect your own Twitter Follower count. However if you started UnFriending people on Facebook, then yes you would no longer see their posts (if they have any – and if Facebook decide that you could) but then your own Friend count would drop.

And therein lies the problem. It’s an ego problem. Plus as @communico points out, its not in Facebook’s interests to do so. How do you take over the world if people keep shedding connections rather than accumulating them?

PS: here is someone who I should probably UnFriend with a capital ‘U”.

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Join the conversation! 5 Comments

  1. you can get the best of both worlds by just unsubscribing from people or as in the in the old days, blocking them. There is no real need to unfriend someone with Facebook. Plus the connection is closer with Facebook, they are more likely people you know or will see in real life whereas Twitter is more voyeuristic.

    • There are plenty of people that I initially connected with on Facebook in the early days that I’ve since unfriended – pretty much everyone I even remotely recognised from my high school as they were mutual friends of my closer mates. But it didn’t take long for me to wonder why I’d effectively given them access to all of my personal photos, videos and comments. Unfriend, unfriend, unfriend.

      I’d make use of this function if it existed. I’m all for streamlining my newsfeed and increasing the privacy level of my personal updates and photos, etc. I wonder if the Twitter users would relate to this more? In Twitter it’s so easy to ‘follow’ someone and then completely forget why. Especially when that user uses the network less and less.

      Facebook is great at making you forget who you have connected with. It works hard to fade the updates of those friends that you barely interact with into the background and so you end up interacting with the same close group of people over and over.

      There used to be an option where you could change the updates that you viewed from something like ‘most popular’ to ‘everyone’. When you did that, you’d suddenly see all of the updates from all of those people that you’d forgotten you’d ever connected with and that you would barely recognise or have a conversation with if you came across them in the real world! It was a great way to weed out those people that you probably wouldn’t want to give access to all of your personal stuff.

      I think that functionality has disappeared recently with the increased development of Facebook’s EdgeRank. It’ll especially change now they’re introducing sponsored stories directly into your news feed.

      • The updates have changed when Facebook moved to a subscription model. You can now choose to individually see all updates, most updates, only important updates or unsubscribe from an individual’s updates. It’s a lot more finicky and more of a hassle to maintain.

  2. I have found that on my iPhone Flipboard that I see posts on my Facebook feed that Facebook doesn;t show me. I guess that may be because the API does not have the EdgeRank appled to it?

    • Yeah that’s interesting – different services showing different posts.

      Is anyone subscribed to Danny Sullivan from Search Engine Land? Every time I log in to Facebook, that guy is dominating the 1st spot in my news feed, if not the 1st and 2nd! I mean ok he’s got a lot of subscribers but it’s verging on ridiculous. It’s even for comments that haven’t yet got many likes or shares.

      Facebook obviously places a lot of weight on the fact that someone has a large number of subscribers (Danny has over 16,000 and I’m sure it was about 14,000 a week ago).

      It’s annoying sometimes as his web-based updates are quite useful but often he’ll just post a random photo of somewhere in the US that doesn’t interest me in the slightest. If his web-based posts weren’t so good I’d unsubscribe. I guess that’s a whole other discussion though.

      (this is him: http://www.facebook.com/dannysullivan – scroll down through his timeline to see what I mean about the photos. I guess it’s just him showing his human side but these posts still rank above any other post from any other person or page I follow)

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