In the last few months I have used my social graph a few times in my efforts to characterize a system i’ve been working on. From my experience i have learned that many people of vision have no clue about what the market wants or what is most important to the users and I decided to just ask them for their opinion without giving them an explanation to why I do this, which, in my opinion, was irrelevant. I have used my graph to create a think tank that was totally unavailable to me in the pre-facebook era and am constantly amazed by what people say and by the amount of knowledge accumulated on a page like this. Pay attention to how people express what they think and how they interact with each other, it’s fascinating. I’d love to know what you think about this after you read. Also, I want to apologize for how this post looks in my WordPress, as this is a bilingual blog it has its language issues of alignment…i’ll sort them out soon.

The following is my Facebook note and all 46 comments that came after.

In Facebook, what would you choose? (please leave a comment)
Saturday, April 26, 2008 at 4:21pm

Hey guys,

I have a Facebook question for you:
If Facebook gave you just 1 option to choose from it’s basic applications,
and basic applications are: status lines, notes, photos, posted items, videos, events and groups.
1- which would you choose to be be as the only application?
2- which application in your opinion is the heart of the system?

if you were tagged, i would really appreciate it if you leave a comment, it’s a kind of a pole for the job i’m doing now. Iif you weren’t tagged, i’d appreciate it if you left your comment anyway, I need as many answers as possible.


Jeff Keni Pulver wrote
at 4:24pm on April 26th, 2008
I can’t choose just one.
I use: Status, Notes, Photos, Events, Videos, Chat and Groups.
Together they represent the heart of Facebook for me.
Einat Brodsky wrote
at 4:29pm on April 26th, 2008
I would choose the status line
‘caus everybody needs to know what’s up with me
Lior Sion wrote
at 4:33pm on April 26th, 2008
I’d start with the status, because you described you were looking for the ‘heart of the system’ (btw, I wonder why you call status a feature but newsfeeds not..)Order of the rest:
Ron Shoshani wrote
at 4:35pm on April 26th, 2008
1. Events: Finally web/social collaboration has a real value.
2. Again, the heart of the system from my POV is no doubt: “Events”

Why ?
1. There are many services for video and photos as well for notes: all are OK and much better than FB.
2. Status updates is being used by around ~5%-10% of FB users – so it cant be the heart, and as well cant be the reason why people joined FB from the first moment.
3. Groups are fine from my POV, but not the heart.

SO: Events (which are connected to groups btw) – are a great way to announce and share between friends and partners some kind of gathering (and usuall a non virtual gathering).

I can think of any other app/service that had made it to such success with sharing events.
Hence, videos, photos and status are extra and events is the heart.


Omer Perchik wrote
at 4:37pm on April 26th, 2008
None of the above is special or unique:

for pics – flickr/photobucket/picasa
for status – twitter/pownce
for vid – youtube/seesmic/qik
for notes – wp/blogger/typepad
posted items – su/digg/
events – google calender/event based social networks?
groups – forums/blogs etc.

In my opinion the mini feeds is the core value of Facebook.
As a user, you want to be up-to-date at any time in what your friends are doing (and as you all know, its pretty addictive and time consuming therefor its monetizable
Omer Perchik wrote
at 4:40pm on April 26th, 2008
And if you make my pick one : Events (Better execution then other places on the web)

St Zohar wrote
at 4:51pm on April 26th, 2008
im with einat
Dan Barak wrote
at 4:58pm on April 26th, 2008
Well, I thought about it for a few minutes and decided on events… then I hit refresh and I noticed I’m not the only one…All the rest are somehow implemented in other systems and quite successfully at that, but the events feature is one of the main reasons I’ve started using Facebook more intensively.

It’s probably worth mentioning though that events wouldn’t be the same without the options of incorporating photos, video and notes…
Roy Man wrote

at 4:59pm on April 26th, 2008
i think facebook would still b facebook if it had

remove from the bottom and you’ll get less facebook each time
i dont know where to locate chat as it is still new.
Nir Ofir wrote

at 5:06pm on April 26th, 2008
News feed.
It aggregates all the activity of my friends and in a more friendly way than friendfeed. All the rest can be done in other, open, platforms.
Julia Tyutyunik wrote
at 5:07pm on April 26th, 2008
i would choose events and photos.
Tal Galili wrote
at 5:10pm on April 26th, 2008
I guess my number one would be either events or photos. photos are VERY importent too. because of the tagging system of friends on photos.status you can get from twitter.
and notes from
and so on.


Eliezer Oren wrote
at 5:18pm on April 26th, 2008
Indeed all thr fratures combined make FB what it is, so it’s hard to point one as “the heart of the system” as you put it.However, if I have to pick one it would be the News Feed, givibg you a quick aggregated view of “what’s new with everybody”.
Guy Yom Tov wrote
at 6:02pm on April 26th, 2008
I stick with what Eliezer Oren said. I think the “what’s new with everybody” is the core of the system. without it – nothing is important.
Niv Calderon wrote
at 6:11pm on April 26th, 2008
to all of you: what do you use the most?
Alon Kastiel wrote
at 6:28pm on April 26th, 2008
Dafna Moiber wrote
at 6:45pm on April 26th, 2008
photos and status updates, but if I need to choose one i would pick the status updates.
Ethan Shalev wrote
at 7:08pm on April 26th, 2008
I’d go with events. for photos I have a server running gallery, status updates are useless to me and available on twitter.
Though the heart of FB is that it offers all these things together, with mashups of them – event photos and videos, and the such. take that away, and though you have the heart of FB, you lose the liver. and the body will die.
Einat Weinboim wrote
at 7:19pm on April 26th, 2008
Definitely the status line. It’s like the new “Away” message, very similar to ICQ and Messenger, but way more important, since everyone keep changing it.
Hagai Jacobson wrote
at 8:09pm on April 26th, 2008
You can’t just take one aspect of the application, its like eating only the toppings from a Pizza, however what I find here that I don’t have anywhere else is the
birthday notifications, Saves alot of hassle
Nir Ofir wrote
at 8:19pm on April 26th, 2008
Niv. Do a test. Ask the same question to ppl that are not always on.
Niv Calderon wrote
at 9:23pm on April 26th, 2008
nir: good idea
I’ve removed people from the list here and added others:)
Tal Galili wrote
at 9:29pm on April 26th, 2008
Fuks Michal wrote
at 9:45pm on April 26th, 2008
Tal Forkosh (French Polynesia) wrote
at 9:51pm on April 26th, 2008
I Choose Life
Nadav Bruchiel wrote
at 10:01pm on April 26th, 2008
all the elements, all of them, exist and even may work better elsewhere.
it is the combination, the flexibility of usage and the fact that everyone are here that is making it what it is.
Shai Tsur wrote
at 10:08pm on April 26th, 2008
I’m actually in with Omer. I think the news feed is the heart of Facebook and the thing that separates it from other social apps.
If I had to choose one thing from the list, I’d be inclined to choose status line even though lately my status updates have increasingly been updated from Twitter more than they have directly through FB.
Coming in a close second is groups, for the reasons that Ronsho iterated above.
Dor Rotman wrote
at 11:09pm on April 26th, 2008
I don’t think you can remove a lot from facebook. The key in facebook is INTEGRATION between the all the services. If I had to choose – I’d remove the Notes app.
Ron Shoshani wrote
at 11:55pm on April 26th, 2008
btw, how much FB is paying for this poll?
Rey Tavor wrote
at 11:56pm on April 26th, 2008
Personally I like the photo tagging, but most of all – I like the ability to see mutual friends. It’s something I couldn’t know about before FB!!
Since twitter can replace the status line, friendfeed is similar to the newsfeed, for notes, etc.. its’ obviously the combination of these apps that gives FB its advantage.
Ruti Polachek wrote
at 1:06am on April 27th, 2008
Mor Friedman wrote
at 1:38am on April 27th, 2008
good luck.
Adi Av wrote
at 1:47am on April 27th, 2008
For me it’s events and groups.
I can use dedicated sites for photos and videos, and most of the rest may be handled by Twitter.
Ahuvah Berger wrote
at 4:06am on April 27th, 2008
since most FB users are not twitters (though you all SHOULD be) – i would have to say the status line is the most important fb application. this is how i stay connected without even asking “how are you?”
Keren Tamooz Brown Leer wrote
at 8:27am on April 27th, 2008
Or-Tal Kiriati wrote
at 9:47am on April 27th, 2008
Events. I agree with what Omer said.
Yosef Silver wrote
at 12:42pm on April 27th, 2008
If I had to pick one, it’d be events.
Status = twitter.
Notes = blogs.
Photos = flickr.
Videos = youtube.
I defiantly don’t use groups to the max, and if I really want to share a posted item, I’d blog it.
Sure, events could be covered with evite, but of this bunch, this would get my vote.
Niv Calderon wrote
at 2:05pm on April 27th, 2008
To all of you:
So, you’d want to be in different places to do different things?
Yosef Silver wrote
at 2:40pm on April 27th, 2008
There are certain things I like to keep separate. My flickr ‘friends’ are not people I know, but people with whom I share a style of photography.I picked Gmail for my email as I like the conversation and archiving capabilities.

Sure, I can use feeds and API’s to bring things together for friends to see in Facebook, but specialist/niche platforms will always excel in their niche.
Amit Ohayon wrote

at 10:39pm on April 27th, 2008
Amit is an old school IS
Mike Fiedler (New York, NY) wrote
at 8:45am on April 28th, 2008
Here’s how I see it:1. Status lines are cute – and twitter-ish
2. Messages are cute – and gmail-ish
3. Pictures are cute – and flickr-ish
4. Events are cute – and evite-ish
5. Videos are cute – and youtube-ish
And most of the other applications are annoyances (to me.)

So what is Facebook good for?

For me, I have a “small” friends list of around 200 people – people I know, want to stay in touch with, whom in any other way I would probably lose touch with.
FB allows me a glimpse into what my friends are doing, and helps me retain a connection, despite geographical boundaries, timezone differences and just plain forgetting to write.

So all the services/applications that are provided by the core engine are nice enough, and have their specialties (like photo tagging, which I like), but for a REALLY good photo album, use Picasa or Flickr. When your photos include friends, add that to FB and tag them.

(comment is now getting too long for FB to allow it…
Xen Mendelsohn wrote

at 11:37am on April 28th, 2008
I’m with Omer, I think the mini feed is the core thing as it provides an update about one’s entire activity and a peek to others’ social life (which is the reason why this is interesting in the first place).
Plaxo Pulse also now tries to offer mini feeds but I guess it is just a little too late.
Joe Brown Leer wrote
at 12:15pm on April 28th, 2008
1- which would you choose to be be as the only application?
ONLY? I wouldn’t bother with Facebook if it only had one.
There is no ONE application I would choose. The combo is status-photos-messages.2- which application in your opinion is the heart of the system
The minifeed. fast, short info, to lead (by choice) to other items
Gili Cohen Taguri wrote
at 1:32pm on April 28th, 2008
status lines, notes, photos, posted items, videos, events and groups?Its hard to choose…
Ilana Nijnik wrote
at 2:25pm on April 28th, 2008
Events and groups are the most useful to me. I guess photos are also nice especially since you can tag people in other people’s photographs.
Ilan Peer wrote
at 12:02am on May 6th, 2008
posted items.

Niv Calderon