I find that I gather some of my best insights about the way social networks are being used by listening to other people’s conversations on the train, particular younger people. Yesterday was one such day.
Returning from London to Nottingham a group of five twenty-something women sat near me and starting discussing their day etc. This led to two interesting snippets about Facebook.
1) After a couple of them had been talking about Facebook, one suddenly said “Everyone I know keeps talking about Facebook, I don’t even have a Facebook account!”. The look on the other four’s faces was a mixture of shock and horror!
2) One of the group then started talking about how some of the requests for friends were weird. She recounted a story about an ex-boyfriend. About 4 years ago she had been living with this boy, but had to work away quite a bit. She came back at 5:00am one morning and found him in their bed with some girl she had never met. Not surprisingly, they broke up, the guy married the other girl, and evidently they have had two kids. The person telling the tale signed up to Facebook last October and in December both the ex-boyfriend and his wife (the one in her bed) – both sent Facebook be my friend requests. The others asked what she did. She replied, I said yes, I wanted them to see how well I was doing!
Mores about how we communicate and the way we use the term friend seem to be in flux, which certainly has implications for all of those in the insight business.