When the new Facebook homepage launched yesterday, most people immediately noticed the change to the stream however there was another upgraded feature: profile suggestions. For some time now Facebook has included a progress bar which states how much of a user’s profile has been completed. Now whenever you view profile suggestions you’ll also see suggestions for you to encourage your friends to become more engaged.
The new feature aims to get users on Facebook more active. While we aren’t quite sure what Facebook uses to determine how “active” a user is, the application of game theory to Facebook engagement should help to increase overall usage on the site. This type of attention to detail is exactly what makes Facebook so successful. Not only does the company focus on optimizing the viral growth of the site but they also do extensive testing to increase overall engagement.
As far as I can tell saying how “active” a user is, is based on how much of their profile has been completed. However I’m not completely sure. Naomi Gleit wrote about the new features yesterday afternoon:
Other new Suggestions will include friends who may need help becoming more active on the site. For instance, they may have an empty wall because no one has posted on it yet. You will see just how much help your friends need by checking out the progress bar located below their profile picture on their profile. You can help them by writing on their Wall or sending them a message, so they have a chance to get involved in sharing as well.
It will be interesting to see if users take the newly suggested actions (such as writing on a less active friend’s wall). Do you respond to these new suggestions from Facebook? Do you think it will increase the overall level of activity on the site?