After writing the piece on National Unfriend Day, the lack of any type of exclusivity some people seem to have began to repeatedly creep into my mind in different situations. It was almost like I had been unplugged from the Matrix and finally got a good look into what Facebook is becoming.
However, in a world where each person has thousands of virtual “Friends”, exclusivity seems to be the next step in social media.
There have been numerous studies done that show the maximum number of social relationships any human can handle is 150. The creator of this theory is Oxford professor and evolutionary psychologist Robin Dunbar and 150 is often referred to as Dunbar’s number.
Dunbar also points out that this number is based upon a close community, where there are only 150 people, no friends of friends of friends, and would require every individual to devote nearly 45% of his/her time to ‘social grooming’.
In essence, we are vastly overextending our social limits.
While most social networking sites ignore this maximum, social network developers have begun to wonder is exclusivity going to be the next trend in networking. Startup, Path Inc, is taking this number into account and is limiting the connections on its picture-sharing network to 50.
As small as this sounds, Path requires you to add friends via email address and I find myself struggling to a) find 50 people I’d want to share this VERY intimate view at my life with and b) finding 50 friends emails. It seems Facebook has taken over my email address book and I make most of my email-like messages through their site.
As weird as it sounds, I am very interested to see how this experiment in social networking turns out as I have been very active on Path recently and am enjoying its extremely simple process.
However, this has gotten me thinking. What would Pricefalls be like as an exclusive shopping arena? I have run into a number of e-commerce websites that take this approach such as: Gilt Group, Lot 18 and RuLaLa and when I originally got an invite to these sites I didn’t think much of it, until a friend begged me for an invite to one of them.
Does exclusivity to a website equal demand? What needs to be in place in order for that to work?
Until next time buyers, sellers and friends!
Josh ^theDirector Weaver