Monday, 14 July 2008

Facebook creators as persuasion masterminds?

I recently read a very interesting article on bbc news which raised the possibility of Facebook creators being persuasion masterminds as they have created a social networking site which relies on friends' persuasion to use the features of the site.

Among its youth following, users encourage each other to upload their photos the next day after a social event and engage in a dialogue about it by posting comments on each others' photos.

Users are encouraged to constantly update their profile pictures, status and comment on each others' walls by ther peers raher than Facebook having to provide incentives to do so as users want to project a social persona of themselves, one which shows them interacting with other people to improve their image of popularity and pictures them doing things they like doing to contribute to the self image they wish to portray.

Therefore it is no wonder that Facebook boasts 8million ACTIVE users with little effort on their part. A person's image and online persona needs maintained on a regular basis. The downside to users being if they aren't seen to be using the site regularly friends won't attempt to talk to them as they will assume they don't check their wall reguarly. Alternatively they could be perceived as being anti-social or a bit of a social outcast. Either way, there is fear that they may be left out of the social loop.

Those who update their profile regularly have more social currency to interact with others and initaite interactions about their latest activities.

Not having an active role in the persuasion process to encourage usage of the site and its features gains the site respect from users as they feel they have chosen to use it. Whilst in actual fact it is the way the site is set up and its role in social communication that persuades users to interact reguarly. Good news for owners, advertisers and users alike though for different reasons.

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