For me social media began since the good old Orkut days. In those days, most of us were unaware of the term “Social Media”. It was simply a cool way to talk and keep a tab on what friends were doing. Apart from this, it was also used as a dating site but the best part was that brands were not aware of this new media then. Its only when you really start using a product, you face the good, the bad and the ugly of it. Products that take feedback and evolve can sustain for a longer time. Orkut didn’t, so in came Facebook.
I joined Facebook as it was new and had some cool features way back in 2007. For the last 5 years, it has been Facebook with the intensity being more personal as well as professional in last two years. Over time Facebook has improved upon it’s design and has provided users with an amazing experience they would have never thought of. For example, the beautiful timeline that can easily take me years back in seconds. Having said this, I have to admit that I am currently losing interest in Facebook and one of the primary reason is the latest feature up-gradations. Or let me say that the latest features that it has introduced don’t provide for an exciting experience and it is overcrowding the news feed as well.
Last night, I came across a brilliant post from Simply Zesty that talks about the feature upgrades by Facebook, done silently before its IPO. However, the article has a one-sided viewpoint elaborating on how these new features are good for a Facebook user. I somehow don’t agree and feel that the latest features have killed at least my Facebook experience and I don’t enjoy that much as I used to do initially.
1. Facebook Ads: Till the time the Facebook ads were on the right hand side of your panel without disturbing your Facebook experience, it was really great. But then with the introduction of Facebook sponsored ads directly in the news feed, matters turned worse. I understand that this was done to make those brands happy, who have been complaining that their content is visible to a very small set of users at a given point of time. However every morning I get up to see sponsored ads placed right at the top of the news feed. The numbers are growing day by day and along with the ad, you also get to see a long list of people who have liked the service. Perhaps, showing ads not based on what my friends like but on what I like, may be the only way to stop this.
2. Trending Articles: This latest addition to the news feed is not only absurd but also clogs it. Of late, we have seen a sudden proliferation of social apps and Facebook is sharing these articles on the news feed. But I see this as a very irritating way of supporting the apps. Already you see the articles that are being read by your friends, so it really doesn’t make any sense to share it again in the news feed.
3. Facebook Offers: Another feature that is now being used by selective clients would become a nightmare soon, after it is going to be opened up for small businesses. Since Facebook Offers are free for now, get ready to see all kinds of cheap offers that you wouldn’t want to see but will have to since someone from your friends has availed it. Facebook Offers could be saved if Facebook could monitor it or provide a way by which we could manage it. Otherwise it would be as clueless to the user as most of the Facebook ads popping up everywhere on Facebook.
4. Facebook Ticker: The ticker is like a Bloomberg screen with constant updates day and night. But does it make any sense? Before you can read something, it’s gone! For me it is not only a distraction but also eaten a lot of space in the UI. It would be useful if Facebook can show me updates in this Ticker from the Facebook lists I have created, wouldn’t it? For example, I have created a list of my best friends in college and would like to see their updates in the Ticker.
Also, too much of brand integration on Facebook is not appealing to the user either. For instance, one of my friend on Facebook wanted to know how she could control the content from the brands that she has liked. Well, that is another matter to worry about, but I am sure Facebook can mend things by introducing features that will allow users to control or even curate content.
Do you face similar problems on Facebook or am I being too critical here?
Slider image source: www.weirdthings.org.uk