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Why Facebook sucks

Tweet You might think that I’m not qualified to write a post about why I think Facebook sucks – and rewind two weeks and you’d be right. Sure I’d created some account many moons ago for me to dabble with, but after rumors of CIA involvement and other “conspiracies” I decided that was enough for [...]

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You might think that I’m not qualified to write a post about why I think Facebook sucks – and rewind two weeks and you’d be right. Sure I’d created some account many moons ago for me to dabble with, but after rumors of CIA involvement and other “conspiracies” I decided that was enough for me.

Recently however I have once again joined up, as more and more of my friends were online I began to be missing out on happenings in their lives. Facebook had become their means of primary communication. Photos were no longer added to Flickr or Picasa accounts – they were simply added to Facebook. Without a Facebook account I was left out.

So after much thinking and discussing with¬† my wife we decided to plunge into the world of Facebook and our lives haven’t been the same since – and NOT in all the ways you think.

Facebook: we aim to annoy

I’m coming into Facebook with over 14 years experience in online user interfaces (read: web design & development). I’m utterly amazed at how Facebook has met and overcome many hurdles facing technology – getting those that are non-techy to use their site … esp considering the Facebook interface is a great big pile of steaming crap.

How on earth do the Grandmas & Grandpas that are now flocking to Facebook ever keep up, let alone understand what their grandkids are up too?  My wife and I are pretty computer and web savvy Рand we struggle to get our heads around the mess that is Facebook.

Why do I see my friends, friends comments?

This question was put to me by my wife after day one with Facebook. She’d added her sister to her friends list and suddenly her “home page” was full of comments to her sister that were completely unrelated to her. All my wife saw was a page full of utter crap. I see since we joined Facebook have now added 3 little buttons allowing you to fine tune this a little – but it’s still a mess.

Why do I get email notifications (again you can turn this off but when you login your notification box tells you) telling me that someone who is friends of my friend, has commented on my friends photo. I could understand if that friend was a mutual friend of mine too … but 9 times out of 10 they are not.

Okay … wooo up for a second.

I really do like Facebook

Facebook has been very good for me, as I’ve reconnected with some very good friends of mine who I’ve not talked too (in depth) for a good number of years. I’ve caught up with the amazing growth of their kids, seen a mates photos of a recent trip to Ireland and much more … but I swear I’ve become so frustrated with the idosy…crap that Facebook puts you through.

Reasons I hate Facebook

  • URL has serious flaws
    Not sure if you noticed but Facebook often puts a # in the url, and simply appends page structures to this. For example I recently was on a fan page, then navigated to my profile, Facebook simply added # to the end of the fan page and then took me to my profile. As I navigated around I notice Facebook simply adds more # and pages to the URL.
    This has bad consequences when you try to add a new app, as the app assumes a certain URL structure & I frequently have apps failing to install.
  • Uploading Video PI
    Today at work I looked into adding some video to a fan page created for one of the sites we manage. Sounds simple enough. I head to the video page – btw: we host all our videos with Vimeo. I was expecting to be able to select either UPLOAD or EMBED. Nope, Facebook forces you to upload any video to their servers. Why? Why can’t we simply pass a Vimeo or YouTube URL and have Facebook put this into the video page – it’s not that hard!
  • Uploading Video PII
    During the upload process we ran into countless issues. The video upload progress bar actually only worked once out of the 8 videos we uploaded. When it did work it meant the Save Info button would kill the upload and drop you out to the video page. Clicking back to video took you to a page saying “You’ve uploaded no videos” – when we already had 3 videos uploaded.
    After each video we had to go back to the fan page and start the process again – otherwise the video wouldn’t upload.
  • Flickr, Twitter, WordPress … Integration
    Why should I have to rely one some 3rd party application to integrate Facebook with my existing online media? I should be able to go to my Photos tab and select UPLOAD or EMBED (or LINK) and be able to simply copy and paste a Flickr URL & have Facebook show the image as if it had been uploaded to Facebook.
    Likewise Twitter should be a heck of a lot easier to integrate than it is. Again there should be a native integration allowing Twitter & Facebook to be closer tied together. Afterall “status” on Facebook is really just like your twitter “What are you doing”
  • Twitter & Pages
    I have a number of Twitter accounts – one is a personal account that I have linked to Facebook so my tweets can update my status. I have another account that is .. well another account. I’ve set up a Facebook page for this & I’d love to have that Twitter account (which has 1 post a day) to update the status of this page. Nope, sorry can’t do it – already have a Twitter account associated to my profile and Facebook/Twitter app can not handle more than one account at once – how stupid?
  • Link integration
    There are a number of online bookmarking (or link saving) solutions. The most popular of course is Delicious. Great news, there is a Delicious Facebook app (which doesn’t really seem to work). This app will publish your links to your BOXES tab. Well this is just dumb. Why can’t Facebook itself allow me to tell it to fetch my LINKS from my Delicious account (or other) and populate them into my LINKS tab.

Summary

I could go on and on I’m sure. Facebook as we all know is huge & my little rant is unlikely to change anything. However I do feel that Facebook could build into their system far greater native support for many of the existing tools that are already used. You can only expect developers to do so much with your API – many of these apps are so full of crappy adverts they are useless.

Facebook expect us as developers to build solutions, share our bandwidth so that Facebook users can leverage their existing content OR force users to upload into multiple locations so that those with Facebook accounts and those without can share the media.

I think Facebook should take a leaf out of WordPress’s books – make things simpler – not more complex. WordPress makes adding media so simple – Facebook makes adding media .. too difficult.

Facebook – it is what it is, you love it or hate it – but I’ll keep using it.

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8 Responses

03.16.09

What I don’t get is why they’ve changed the layout yet again!
They haven’t actually fixed anything (well I haven’t noticed any fixes to the problems you mentioned) yet they’ve just changed the layout to annoy everyone again…

Nice article.

03.16.09

Yeah great now i have to put up with some kiwi guy on my Facebook :P

I wish they’d go backto one of their earlier versions which was “modular” you could put /drag the boxes to where you wanted them and hide others, basically customise it to how you wanted to see your profile and others to see it.

As for the homepage feed thing…if i wanted Twitter i would get Twitter…plus are we all sight impared? font seems really big…

I’ll shut up now

:D

03.16.09

Blimming moaning Aussie – I know you hid me from your profile … so you probably don’t even know I turned off the twitter part … oh right sorry ummm…

Yeah .. it’s good but it’s not great ey!

03.16.09

Yes, I was enjoying the site and they closed my account. It was great connecting with people, but when I asked other marijuana activist they too told me they had their accounts closed….what is up with that?

03.16.09

2 good things i did after reading this post

1) i’m now following you in twitter

2) i added the twitter app for facebook.

i agree facebook is a mess of data

03.16.09

Thanks for the follow & be careful with that Twitter plugin. Some people don’t like having facebook full of your tweets. I found that what I was tweeting & how fast I was tweeting was appropriate on Twtitter, but not on facebook – so I’ve since turned OFF the twitter app

03.16.09

Since the redesign of Facebook, I am not able to upload videos to my own podcast’s FB fan page — the page that I created and I administer. How ridiculous is that?!

03.16.09

Yeah, silly ey. I still can’t figure out how to get a twitter account to show up on a fan page rather than my profile – it’s just too complicated!