Its worth noting this might be a bit like making a request for Notepad++ to turn into microsoft word.
Its just a totally different purpose. NodeBB is amazing, but its not facebook. Most of us wouldnt want it to be! NodeBB is largely focused around the forum conversation experience, and does a great job at it. Social Networks are less about conversations, and more about statuses, in a way, so are handled differently. I suppose a good way to put it is forums are topic and category focused, and social networks are profile focused.
You might look at the following softwares, if you want to roll something like Facebook or Myspace.
And if you're looking for something more like reddit
Are all quite capable projects.
You could probably manage to get NodeBB to do what you want, mind. Its very customizable and flexible. But you'd be swimming upriver.
However! If you want to run a forum with a few extra social network like features tagged on, then plugins might absolutely be your best choice!