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Why Facebook should have chosen blue hedgehog mascot

According to a Facebook employee, Sean Parker was very keen for Facebook to have a mascot--a blue hedgehog. How different might the company have been today?

If only.

If only Google had been run by at least one touchy-feely human being, as opposed to a goosey gaggle of engineers.

If only Microsoft had made itself more teddy-bearish, as opposed to another of Apple's big, bad brothers.

And if only Facebook had committed itself to the blue hedgehog.

No, I have not been supping to excess. You see, according to the L.A. Times, which seems to enjoy following questions on Quora, Sean Parker, in his Facebook heyday, was deeply keen on Facebook having a prickly mascot.

Specifically, a blue hedgehog.

Ezra Callaghan, formerly of Facebook, revealed in reply to a Quora question that when Facebook originally conceived a program for local businesses, Parker suggested that they should send each a blue hedgehog (stuffed) just to say hello and appear cuddly.

See the blue hedgehog, love Facebook? CC Orin Zebest/Flickr

Sadly, the program was discontinued before the hedgehogs could leave their mark. Which is a vast pity.

While many might consider Facebook an immensely powerful brand, somehow a connection with the natural world, rather than the artificial one, might just have been helpful.

Yes, I know Sonic the Hedgehog seems to have cornered the spiky animal market, but if Parker and his friends had found a deft designer, if the blue hedgehog had enjoyed some delightful characteristics--such as a smile and tiny little open claws-- he would surely have served a wonderful purpose.

He would have warmed people into believing that artificial friends truly can be real. He would have encouraged people to dig their claws into their objects of desire online. And he would have created a situation in which Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg would not have to spend his evenings appearing on Saturday Night Live.

Instead, the blue hedgehog could have been wheeled out like a latter day Taco Bell chihuahua in order to tell people, for example, not to get uppity about privacy or that would get his spine up.

While Twitter has birds and whales, Facebook has lacked that living, breathing connection that could make it seem more than just a whiteboard for whining, wining and dining.

It is surely not too late.

Facebook could introduce its new blue hedgehog within months. It could call him Henry the Hedgehog. Or Freddie the Friend. Or even Ferdinand the Facehog. Goodness, he could even charm Congress. Spiky animals often have.