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Publicize Relationship

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To promote virality, the system announces, or publicizes, relationships between people.

Facebook shows a user how many friends are shared when viewing someone elses Profile in addition to showing how many friends that person has. A handful are featured at a time and rotate on page refresh.

Use When

  • Use to announce new connections to people in shared networks.
  • Use to show profile visitors who the person is connected to.
  • Use to promote connecting by sharing new connections and enticing users to make these connections as well.


As discussed in Adding Friends, consider showing the group of people a user is connected with. Showing connections in a grid format of avatars, is a space saving way to publicize a person’s relationships.

flickr indicates a person’s connections with their contact’s grid. Each picture and name is linked to that user’s photo stream. Rolling over the picture brings up a contextual menu that allows the viewer to make that person a contact right inline.

When a new connection is made, consider announcing, via the activity stream, the new connection to each person’s network.

Facebook shows recent connections in the News Feed. Additionally, they share how the two people connected if it was through one of the friend finding tools.

Plaxo shows a contact’s recent connections in my activity stream and offers me the option of connecting to the same person.

Display to the user whether or not they are connected when visiting a person’s profile. (See Profile)


Publicizing relationships helps a network grow through friends of friends browsing and connecting. Announcing new connections to the group let’s everyone know who’s there and who they know. Chances are someone else in the group knows the new person and may want to connect as well. This is especially useful when the person is new to the service and can help alleviate the cold start issue of having no connections.

Related Patterns Identity Cards Adding Friends

As Seen On Facebook Twitter Yahoo! Profiles