Reaching the 5,000 Friend Limit on Facebook
At least I’m not popular enough to reach this limit on Facebook 🙂
Approaching the 5,000 friend limit on Facebook can prove to be a counter-intuitive lesson in social networking — as real-life friends who have your phone number and real-world contact info might desert you to make room for more contacts interested in following your work. The solution can be starting a Facebook fan page, which not only gets rid of that pesky 5,000 person cap, but gives users mass-messaging capabilities that can take the platform to a new height.Take a look at what Chris Brogan had to say as he approaches the 5,000 friend limit.
From Chris Brogan:
It seems that I’m nearing the arbitrary 5000 people limit on Facebook. People like Jeff Pulver and Robert Scoble and Loic Le Meur and others are in the same boat. To fix this, one has to launch a Facebook fan page or just stop adding friends. It really led to a lot of thoughts and some conversations on Twitter (where else?). Here’s what I think.
Facebook Fan Pages and “Friends”
At this point, it’s a bit different for me. I have to accept that from time to time. But it’s a weird feeling. According to Facebook, I can’t possibly know more than 5000 people. (I feel silly writing this. Tons of people have already written this same blog post.) So, the next step is to create a “fan” page.
The fan page acts pretty much the same way as a profile page, except that the owner of said page can actually do a few more things, include mass messaging. So in a weird way, the “punishment” for having so many friends is that Facebook gives me a way to blanket message them. Huh?
The next question this all brings up is “friends.” Ari Herzog was halfway there in comments on Twitter, spawned from an exchange with me and Alexa Scordato, who offered to “unfriend” me so I’d have some room. This was followed by Meg Fowler offering to unfriend, too.
So wait, it goes further. The next action for people with 5000 “friends” is that my real friends all offer to abandon ship, knowing that they can reach me other ways. So what does that tell you about the kinds of friends you capture and maintain on Facebook? At least from this example, it tells me that my friends and I aren’t using it as a real social hub, that we reach each other on other channels (mostly Twitter).