Jason Schwartz, the founder of Matchbook, explains his idea that social networks are on the way out and how “social circles” will replace them.
When a pre-schooler has a birthday party they invite the entire class, which constitutes everyone they’ve ever met. It’s not until years later that they develop friendships and social circles that form the basis of inviting one person over the other.
Social Networks are like that pre-schooler’s party. Rather then being made up of “friends.” they are repositories of people whose existence you acknowledge. You connect with everyone you’ve ever met because the tools have not been developed to create more complex social circles that make up mature adult relationships. It makes sense that the evolution of digital social will follow the same developmental path we take as humans.
Social Networks are characterized by, “Friend Everyone, Share Everything.” Social Circles will be characterized by “Group Dynamically, Share Selectively.”
Social Circles will focus on groups, automatically created based on a person’s real life social circles. They will dynamically shift to include new close friends and remove those that become distant.