Beth Granter

Freelance digital consultant for charities

Facebook Interactive Friend Thing

Who else has drawn a map of everyone they know and all the connections between them? Friendster used to do a ‘shortest connection chart’ between two people, showing how many ‘steps’ you were away from someone. That’s something MySpace always lacked. Now there’s an interactive 3D visualisation of everyone you know on Facebook. This is something I’ve wanted someone to create for years, even before the L Word ‘make-out’ map.

The Interactive Friend Thing was created by Gordy French. Here’s a snapshot of my facebook friend map:

Facebook friend map

You can zoom in… ” Since people with more connections end up closer together, the various social groups you’re in become quite apparent.” Here’s a snapshot of my Brighton friends (not because they’re in the Brighton ‘network’, they just got grouped together because they have lots of connections between each other):

Brighton facebook map

Then, you can click a person’s name and it shows you the connections between your mutual friends:

Facebook Tanny map

I think the numbers indicate how many mutual friends you have with that person.

This is actually the most fun application I’ve seen in a long time. Probably because I’ve wanted it for so long.

It did get me thinking about an extra use of it, which I’d also dreamed up a while back: since Facebook records ‘hookups’, you could either do a separate chart showing this information, or make the connector lines different colours for different kinds of relationships… could come in useful if someone got an STI… a direct trace of potential infection! Haha.

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