QC

The one thing that the guys at Facebook have latched onto that the people at all these other social networking sites hasn’t is a little thing called quality control.

What am I talking about? At MySpace you may have noticed that anyone can alter their pages style using various methods (as long as it isn’t javascript). It seems like everyone from amateurs, to pros to markers want to “pimp their myspace”. The results can range from the gaudy to heavy-handed designs like this.

At Facebook it’s different in a “you can buy a car in any color you want as long as it’s black” kind of way. Basically, they give you a basic template that you can use and like or….leave the service. This ensures that all user profiles are easily read and it reduces potential security holes. Any attempt to modify the code of a FaceBook page is blocked through the security measures in place on the site.

In this post by hyalineskies, a way around FB’s security measures was uncovered. This allowed him to alter his page for a brief period until FB noticed and fixed things. You can read about this hack attempt and the results here.

A year ago I hated Facebook (mainly because I couldn’t use it). When they first launched they were only available to students and alumni of colleges who still retained their school e-mail addresses. To me, that worked against the idea of social networking entirely by ‘excluding’ part of a potential larger audience. The FB staff had an agenda though, one that I now more fully understand…

    1. Don’t grow to fast
    2. Exclusiveness breeds interest
    3. Protect the Integrity of the mission
    4. Protect the aesthetic of the service

All of these things are in direct opposition to the philosophy of other sites, like MySpace, which:

    1. Grew very quickly
    2. Cares nothing for aesthetics
    3. Whores itself to spammers and advertisers
    4. Was never, and never will be ‘exclusive’ in anyway

In many ways FB are creating a reliable, trustworthy and impressive ‘brand’ and aim to protect it. There’s nothing wrong with that. If MySpace is the McDonalds of social networking, FaceBook is the Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. Yeah, you can still order the cheese burger but they’re not going to let you in the door without the shirt and tie.