Ushering in the New ROBLOX Social Experience

October

16, 2014

by Sorcus


Archive

One of our key focuses for the remainder of 2014 and 2015 is reshaping social interactions — making them more meaningful and more functional — on ROBLOX. We hear your feedback. We know you want to be able to establish worthwhile connections with other people. We know you want you to be able to easily play games in private servers with your friends. We know you want to be able to make games that leverage players’ networks for gameplay and competition. To make this happen, we have to rethink our existing Friends and Best Friends systems, and modify them so they work better — so they’re more meaningful. Today, we’re kicking off that process. Read on to see what this means for the future of ROBLOX.

Friends and Followers

To start, let’s explain how we’re updating Friends and Best Friends to make for a better social experience. We’re introducing new social connections, known as Friends and Followers, in approximately three weeks.

What is a Friend?

Friends are established when two ROBLOX users mutually agree to friendship. To start, there will be a maximum of 200 Friends per user. This is a conservative number that will change as we roll out new features that demonstrate high performance at ROBLOX scale, and a manageable starting point for making meaningful connections. To compare this number to another gaming platform, Steam currently allows a maximum cap of 250 friends, and friends are established in the same way: when both parties agree to make the connection. Eventually, we aim to exceed this limit.

What is a Follower?

Followers, on the other hand, are established when one person wants to know what another user is doing and saying, even though he or she may not expressly know that user. You can follow an unlimited number of players. Think of this as being similar to following someone you find interesting on a social network, such as Twitter.

Both Friend and Follower activity will populate the Feed on your home page.

Why transition to Friends and Followers?

At ROBLOX scale, we operate with more than 4 million active players every month. Today, we’re looking at the social experience through a new set of lenses. ROBLOX players have told us time and again that we should offer a more comprehensive social experience. You should be able to play and join games with your Friends. You should be able to gauge how you’re doing, in any game, in relation to your Friends. Developers should be able to create games with social aspects in mind — we will be giving developers much more robust APIs to utilize. Basically, Friends should be able to play and compete with Friends.

The Friends and Followers system opens the doors to a ton of improvements and possibilities.

  • Playing with friends and managing your friends list is a lot simpler.
  • Developers will have more meaningful control over permissions for games and private servers by using Friends as a filter. They can always choose to allow Followers, as well.
  • Developers have the ability to create friends-only leaderboards based on Points earned and in-game Friend leaderboards.
  • A more intelligent and meaningful feed that can filter between Friends and Followers.
  • A more robust partying system.
Imagine being able to play Apocalypse Rising with 15 of your friends on a private server. That's where we're heading.

Imagine being able to play Apocalypse Rising with 15 of your friends on a private server. That’s where we’re heading.

What this means for you

Today we’ve implemented the first in a series of changes that will improve your social experience on ROBLOX. The first switch — which allows you to now have a total of 200 Best Friends — has been flipped. This is very important because, when we launch Friends and Followers, your existing Best Friends will become your Friends. Anyone who is not a Best Friend will become a Follower.

Many of you have hundreds and even thousands of Friends. We recommend that you make your closest Friends your Best Friends (and make sure they do the same), so that when Friends and Followers launch, they’ll remain your Friends. Everyone on your list who is not a Best Friend will become a Follower. You can, of course, add, change, and remove Friends and Followers as you see fit after the new model launches.

This is moving us toward a more modern and widely adapted system — the social and gameplay potential that this change unlocks is important to the future of ROBLOX. As always, we’re eager to hear your feedback. What do you think about the number of Friends? What do you think about the features this change will allow? Let us know!