Facebook’s redesign makes it the overbearing parent of social networks

Seriously, Facebook; we need to talk.

The suggestions. The news feed vs live feed. The nonsensical Events blocking… it’s got to stop. There’s got to be a way out. I’m a regular user, logging in every day like clockwork. I am an admin for a page with over 57,000 members, on which I post at least five times a week.  But you’re treating me like I’m disinterested at best and a spammer at worst. Not so pleasant for someone who has both personal and professional reasons to use the site.

Let’s look at the last week.

The Suggestions

In the last week, you’ve suggested I reconnect with someone who passed away barely ten days ago, and my own husband. While I can understand that you can’t tell from an active profile if the person is actually still running it or not, the relationship status should be an easy one to read. I’m sure I’ve heard tell of possible memorial pages, too…?

My mother doesn’t even tell me which of my friends I should be getting in touch with again. It’s creepy, and completely unnecessary.

The Events

I’m very spam-aware. When I was creating the Christmas events for the Dogs Trust Facebook Page, I even stated to the members on the page that I would be as careful as I could not to spam them and could they please bear with me. I was happy to see it was not a required step to publish the events to the news feed; neither was it necessary to invite anyone. So I deliberately didn’t publish them and didn’t invite anyone. Ergo, no spamming.

You sent a big, rude, red message up on the screen saying I was spamming and risked having my account blocked. Please rework your algorhythms to take into account that you cannot spam people if they can’t see what you’re adding in their updates or invites.

Live Feed vs News Feed

Seriously, are you kidding me? My friends have to like something and I have to start ‘liking’ and commenting just to be considered to be engaging? I can’t read something anymore? Sometimes I don’t comment etc because I don’t want the updates coming to my phone’s Facebook app and the emails clogging up my inbox. I genuinely want those notifications when I am bothered enough to comment, and I understand you want more site stickiness and engagement, but assuming you know what I’m interested in is a step too far.

My friends like lots of stuff I don’t. I like lots of stuff they don’t. Don’t force me into fiddling with settings etc to get the people I want included. At best, the news feed ought to be an optional setting that you can arrange for yourself, including a select group – a bit like Lists on Twitter. Facebook just isn’t as clever as Google at working out what I’m interested in, and while the other options are there it still smacks of telling instead of offering.

I’m not going to lie; like most people change can annoy me just by its nature. But I’ve watched one thing after another change for the worse and it’s really getting irritating now. I can but hope that I will start to get used to Facebook’s overbearing parenting, but – fairly or not – I find myself increasingly comparing it to Twitter. Twitter doesn’t always get it right (I’m still baffled by the enforced blocking of replies to people you’re not following) but it does seem to be more led by by user choice. Facebook instead chucks auto-customisation at you and forces you to tweak it.

The problem is, many don’t bother. As a charity page admin, I now worry people who are genuinely interested but just not auto-clickers and commenters will be missing out on news. We are careful to post in a non-spammy way, but now that hardly makes any difference.

Ah, well.

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