Pew reports the average number of Facebook friends to be 229 (May 2012) which lines up with analysis on the Facebook S1 which pegs it at 234. This huge rise from the numbers Facebook’s shared previously: 130 (2010) and 100 (2008).
However the greater story is in how the numbers vary by generation. With Millennials averaging 318 and in my experience showing significant outliers among college students above 1,000.
Facebook as “King Maker” thru its Newsfeed and Open Graph
Above shows how pivotal Facebook’s algorithms are in driving awareness and adoption of new apps can be which can be magnified by Apple’s own model for promoting apps that are suddenly being downloaded at high rates. It bodes well for the power Facebook’s new App Center could have.
From a PR perspective, Facebook spins their “lock-in” strategy as in the best interests of protecting “your” contact info. But the fact remains that you cannot take your friends contact info with you to another service FB deems competitive (e.g. Google+, your email contacts, your smartphone) unless it’s also in the best interest of Facebook (Yahoo deal).
If they truly care about protecting that contact info, why allow Yahoo users do something they don’t allow anyone else to? I figure it’s because in Yahoo outsourcing social to Facebook they also agreed not to compete on social which means I think FB is really out to protect its business more than it’s users data.
Latest news coverage of Facebook’s shutdown of a contact exporter: