July 25th, 2008
Showing network updates (what buddies are up to?) is becoming a common feature in almost all social networks. Be it Facebook, Orkut, Linkedin. Everybody get to know what others are doing in my network. New contact, new pictures in my album, which social application I have added etc. This is completely contextual to type of social network.
In case of Orkut and Facebook , this feature can add value to social networks aiming towards dating, friendships. It gives an opportunity to explore similar tastes with a buddy. From the business angle it keeps user engaged on the network. More engagement means more money.
Showing network updates to all buddies can have different implications. I interpret this feature in different way In Business networking applications. If my office colleague is adding a recruitment consultant, this forces me to think something. I think all the activities one does on a network should not be visible to others. There should be a some level of privacy preference whether one wants to display the updates to his/her network.
Before social network launch a feature be it a network update or photo album feature they must do an implication analysis. Orkut initially had a photo album feature in profile but now they have put a privacy element in it. Girls used to receive large number of unknown friend requests. Orkut added this privacy element to prevent engendered behavior.