Facebook’s Social Design

Earlier this week I had the good fortune of attending the BlackBerry World conference in Orlando, Florida (disclosure: RIM is a client). I’m not going to go into all the details of the conference, but there is one thing I would like to share.

During the keynote on Tuesday morning, Carolyn Everson, Facebook’s VP of Global Marketing Solutions spoke about the concept of Social Design.

Social Design is a mantra of the world’s largest social network and one that they try to live by in all that they do. Apparently there are bumper stickers saying Social Design all over their offices. According to Everson, there are four key components to Social Design:

  1. People first, content second
  2. Make sharing simple and fast
  3. A few can activate many
  4. You friends are there

Sounds pretty simple, but Everson shared some amazing examples of how Social Design helps Facebook succeed.

When Facebook first launched their Photos application, it was lacking many features that were already available on existing photo sites. However, by adding the Tagging functionality, they gave Photos a Social Design which helped make the product an instant success.

Brands everywhere should learn from the principles of Social Design and apply them not just to new products and services, but to how they manage their brand and go to market.