Social Gaff: Facebook Cliques Are Just the Beginning

zuckerbergNew Facebook Groups Features

by Mark Zuckerberg on Sunday, October 31, 2010


We've long heard that people would find Facebook more useful if it were easier to connect with smaller groups of their friends instead of always sharing with everyone they know. That's why we're introducing Cliques, a simple way to stay up to date with small groups of your friends and to share things with only them in a private space. With Cliques, you can quickly post photos, make plans and keep up with ongoing conversations. You can also group chat with members who are online right now. You can even use each group as an email list to quickly share things when you're not on Facebook. The net effect is your whole experience is organized around spaces of the people you care most about -- your Clique.

We think of Cliques as the basic unit of users' social networks -- but we also recognize it doesn't end there. In fact users can create and inhabit myriad social groupings, limited only by their imagination and psychological motivations. And what could be more human than distorting relationships to construct a flattering self-image? That's why we introduced a new group-within-a-group feature for Cliques, called Claques. Basically, we realize not everyone in a particular Clique may be equally supportive of your petty achievements, superficial opinions, and shallow insights.

In effect, Claques aggregates all the "yes men" in your life -- your mom, your therapist, your hairdresser, your social media guru -- to provide an uncritical chorus of approval for everything you post online. Put another way: Cliques is for when you want to share something with a select group of friends, and Claques is for when you want them to give a damn.

There was a very favorable early response to Cliques and Claques, which allows users to divide their social network into increasingly exclusive groups based on shared interests and the inherent need for security and approval. But we got a lot of user feedback indicating there was demand for even more precise control over who you share certain sensitive information with on Facebook. After all, some of the content that's important to you might not be suitable for everyone in your Cliques or Claques, especially if it concerns a nefarious conspiracy to subtly control and direct their actions towards your own evil ends.

That's why we created Cabals, a new feature which aggregates certain key individuals -- your Covert Contacts -- from across your Cliques and Claques and allows you to coordinate your criminal master plan/s away from the harsh light of public scrutiny. Using the Cabal Commons, you can post messages, photos, video, and updates on the progress of your plans, all protected by Facebook's high-powered encryption software (please note some anonymous information about your Cabal may be shared with advertisers unless you opt out).

Facebook Cliques, Claques, and Cabals are helping people organize their contacts and content in more convenient and relevant ways, based on their shared interests, need for sycophantic approval, and malicious intent. But even some of your co-conspirators don't need to be privy to everything about you, like the unholy source of your power and charisma.

That's why we created another special groups feature, Covens, which brings together the "need-to-know" members of your Cabals in a private forum where you can revel in your mastery of the dark arts, safe from the prying eyes of the uninitiated. Facebook Covens lets you post photos and video, share spells, and schedule meetings. Inhabiting a familiar? No problem: just create a separate Facebook profile for your black cat, raven, or hellhound. Inflicting demonic possession on another Facebook user? Easy! Just make sure they haven't opted out of "supernatural transmigration" in their privacy settings.

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