The “How Robert Scoble Hijacked My Facebook News Feed” post by Dare Obasanjo a few days ago talked about the repercussions of adding a high-volume content provider like Robert Scoble as a friend on Facebook. Scoble posts many links and videos, joins a lot of groups, and is very active with his Status Updates.
Dare found that this torrent of content drowned out the feed items from his other Facebook friends, and that the default Facebook filtering wasn’t enough to solve the problem. In the comments, many suggested just unfriending Scoble. However, then then Dare would miss out on all Scoble’s items.
What users need is the ability to deal with Facebook friends on their terms – controlling when they consume, regardless of when or how much is produced by those friends.
Inner Circle provides exactly this functionality, by allowing users to create Circles of friends and view or hide their Facebook News Feed items based on these Circles.
For example, Dare could create a Circle called Internet Buzz and drag Robert Scoble into it. He could create more Circles called Coworkers and Family and High School and drag the appropriate Facebook friends into them. On his What’s Happening page, he would see all the Facebook items organized by Circle. Dare could leave the Internet Buzz Circle collapsed until he was ready to view it and spend the majority of his time focused on the Circles he was most interested in.
Inner Circle does more of course, letting Dare and his friends share external feeds, like Twitter, Flickr, and blogs. These feeds would be integrated right into the Circles on the What’s Happening page. Dare would then know what’s really happening with the friends he cares about.