If you think Facebook is a friend-making machine then think again. Robin Dunbar is an Oxford anthropologist famous for “the Dunbar number.” In Dunbar’s research it turns out that humans are capable of no more than 150 friends. Dunbar says Facebook can’t increase that number but can increase the length of time we’re in contact with friends whom we would normally have gradually forgotten. Only time will tell if that’s a good thing.

Try an experiment. Start listing your real friends and see how far you get. The result may surprise you.

The bottom line is Facebook has the same limitations as you for acquiring friends. More than a Facebook strategy business needs a social technology strategy that reduces cost and increases revenue.

All of which makes us wonder….what are “friends” really for?


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