Back in July, Robert Scoble wouldn’t stop talking about the wonder that is Facebook (search for the word Facebook on this page, for example). Then, less than a week ago, he posts a very honest and interesting look at the truth about web traffic – the truth being that there simply isn’t as much traffic out there as we’d all like to believe.
But wait a second, I seem to remember that back when Scoble was extolling the virtues of Facebook, he claimed that part of the reason blog traffic was down was the fact that people are spending their time on social networks like Facebook.
Now, every other post he writes on his blog or Twitter account seems to be for the purpose of bellyaching that he can’t add more than 5,000 “friends” to his Facebook account. This last one states that he agrees with the statement “Facebook sucks” because of this problem. Yeah, yeah, we get it.
Inasmuch as Robert Scoble is an influential web personality who is nothing if not thought provoking, I think the time has come for a large company to stand up for themselves, and not give in to the bitching and moaning of the edge cases. It seems like the Robert Scobles of the world can’t handle it when they can’t simply complain and get their way.
The truth is that Facebook is designed with a 5,000 friend limit for a reason. Nobody truly has more than 5,000 real-life friends, so why bother having to architect a system to handle more? Facebook has a vested interest in ensuring that people use their system in the way that they intended, and get a good experience while doing so. Scoble is abusing the system, then complaining bitterly that it’s not working out for him. In the long run it’s not going to hurt Facebook in the slightest, but it sure is making Scoble look like a spoiled brat.