A new Facebook feature will let users see more of their closest friends’ status updates unfiltered, and more often.
Upon signing in, the “Star Your Close Friends” notification prompts users to pick top friends to star, then without anyone else knowing, the site notifies you when your top friends have any activity on the social media site.
According to VentureBeat, the new feature has the potential to solve two problems for Facebook.
The first one being that only 10 per cent of your friends can actually see your status update at any given time. Close Friends will make sure users see news from the friends they really want to.
The second problem is friend categorization. Facebook has tried to remedy this with the new feature. Close friends is simple; friends are either starred or they’re not. This problem has been attempted to be fixed by another feature called Smart Lists, which attempted to compete with Google+ circles.
With all the new advancements Facebook has put out over the past few months including Timeline, File Sharing, and now Close Friends; businesses have the potential to better utilize the site.
For example, the New York Times has turned their Facebook page into a digital archive.
Online, users can see every major event that has happened in the newspapers history – right down to the very day they started.
Businesses should take a lesson from pages like theirs; the more interaction they have with social media, the more appealing it is, and the more user friendly it is – the more hits they’ll get.
Users already know that they can “like” pages in connection with celebrities, products, events, etc., and the relationship will be displayed to all of their friends. Brand pages then have the ability to post content to the user’s news feed and send messages.
With the new Close Friends feature, businesses can target their markets by simply adding some of their fans to their Close Friends list.
By zoning into their target markets companies can use the activity of those people to make their Facebook activity more appealing and effective.
The Toronto Star reported that according to an Ipsos study done last May, 49 per cent of Canadian online users are either strongly (5 per cent) or somewhat (44 per cent) influenced by brand or product recommendations from members of their social network.