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Is the definition of friend changing?

February 6, 2011

20 years ago, we didn’t have to define the term friend. We had qualifiers like best friend, but friends were people you could see.

Robin Dunbar said one could have a maximum of 150 friends. He meant that our networks could not exceed 150.

Robin Dunbar wouldn’t like my numbers, which go something like this:

LinkedIn – 500+ Connections.

Facebook – 385 friends.

Twitter – According to FriendorFollow, I have 1260 ‘friends’ – defined as people who I follow and they follow me back.

Clearly, we need to redefine the term friend.

For brands, friends are customers. Best friends are the kinds of customers that tell their friends about the brand or product.

The goal for brands is to get friends. As individuals, we’ll have to redefine friend. Maybe when we do, brands can take it over and replace it with target market.

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