Besides that though, I think it just encourages behaviors I don't really enjoy seeing in my friends. I definitely know people who in real-life are totally cool, but their social media presence makes me question why I ever liked them in the first place. Mostly I see a lot of:
1) very overt attention seeking for pretty lame things (like, pretty girls posting selfies of themselves doing nothing interesting, or dudes with gym photos, that kind of thing)
2) Extremely broad and poorly thought out political rants
3) sharing really vapid motivational quotes
4) people being maybe a little too vulnerable to a very broad audience, to the point where it's awkward.
5) This one is the worst of all. People taking passive aggressive swipes at individuals by posting very vague status updates. I hate stuff like that.
I don't think of myself as a super judgmental person, but whenever I get on facebook I spend half my time just thinking "really?" and then feeling kind of gross.
And when actual friends' posts show up, 90% of the time it's a like or a share of some uninspiring web page's article with no comment.
It's like it's become digg.com curated by your non-techie acquaintances, with a bonus ORDER BY RANDOM() thrown in for good measure.
It was bad enough when people started posting pictures of text instead of just posting the text. Now they're posting videos of static text. What's next, immersive VR full sensory presentation to convey "its weekend party yay lol :D :D:D:D:D" posts?
And because these posts with the backgrounds get larger font sizes compared to normal posts, to get attention in a voluminous group one must play the same dirty game. They're literally dragging people into the dirt pit.
Hope they don't introduce animation in these gaudy backgrounds!!!
Why not just give some font controls instead and remove all this background nonsense?! (Though this could also be argued to be terrible)
One day everyone will look back at these stunts and see them for the ugliness and abomination they are, just like we look back at banner ads with derision and hate.
# ppl like flashy stuff #
You joke, but they bought Oculus for a reason.
I assume big media pieces are where the advertising money is.
The English Football Association has used a 2-minute Twitter video in order to announce the list of 23 players who made it to the World Cup (https://twitter.com/England/status/996737073418784770). I personally hate this trend.
Their alternatives were:
1. Interrupt people's flow by getting them off of Twitter.
2. Try fitting them all in one tweet (impossible).
3. Try fitting them in multiple tweets, which would make the users retweet a specific tweet that contains whichever player they're interested in, and their followers wouldn't see the entire roster.
I can see the appeal of transmitting the info in a 2 minute video since it gives users one tweet they should retweet, and transfers the important message in a relatively short amount of time (albeit much longer than skimming through a block of text).
Pickford Butland Pope
TAA Trippier Rose Maguire Jones Stones Walker Cahill
Henderson Dier Alli Lingard Young Delph RLC
Sterling Vardy Kane Rashford Welbeck
The moment you (meaning they) even combine these words you've missed the point of Twitter.
I think putting the spam on facebook on equal footing with its post targeting as to why people aren't using facebook is wrong. I have hundreds of friends and tens of pages on FB, which I'll admit by FB's standards isn't all that much, yet I still find it much harder to browse than other sites with many times the content. Most people simply don't post that often or not at all, and the pages I joined don't post often either.
Despite how little content there is I find the issue of managing it all completely intractable. When I'm on Feedly I go through hundreds of posts worth of content in a few minutes by mashing the j key until I find content I want to read later, save it and then spend maybe 2 hours a week going through content I care about. When I'm on Twitter I skim until I see familiar content and pick out the stuff I care about. When I'm on reddit, I know it takes about 48 hours for my feed to "refresh" so I'll spend some time every other day skimming from top to bottom.
I can't even begin to figure out a workflow for finding content on Facebook. The whole thing is laid out so quickly finding the things I care about is impossible. I can scroll past ten posts I've seen before something new pops up so I have no idea when to stop scrolling. There's no concept of a "read" post and unlike reddit the "hide" button, hidden behind a menu, acts like a downvote. I have no way of creating a single stream of just the things I care about, and if I did there's no way to update myself when things change. Unlike youtube, there's no RSS feeds so I can't just do my browsing from Feedly. Even just getting a feed of my events is impossible since FB has the audacity to suggest events from pages I've never interacted with, have no friends going and thinks those are more important to me than the events created by pages I actually follow. Push notifications are insanely coursely-grained (or at least they do a good job hiding the interface). Cambridge Analytica be damned, the reason I don't use FB is because I can't figure out how. My age, income level and computer-addicted brain should make me prime meat for advertisers, yet I change the oil more often than login to FB simply because the algorithms that generate my feeds are just that bad.
the ui i won’t bother to defend though.
I don't think I've read a more accurate description of anything in a long time... Thanks for putting my feelings on Facebook into words!
The last thing I care about is that my friend's aunt comment on a thread from October 2016, but for some reason Facebook thinks that needs the #2 slot on my feed.
When someone overshares, or gets soapboxy, or just spammy, I just unfriend. I did this with my sister! That's something I'd never do on Facebook.
But how does one even overshare on Goodreads when all the updates are about book reads or picks to to-read? In the comments?
If somebody is reviewing books I have zero interest in (eg: super partisan politics, superhero comic books) then I'm likely to unfriend them on Goodreads.
One of my middle-aged male friends was really into Young Adult romances. Like two books a week. I had to let him go.
I bet those people are shown what their friends post and are moaning on their own forums about the lack of memes and quizzes these days.
The point of the algorithm seems to be to keep you scrolling and scrolling to see what you actually want so I bet that noone is happy.
1. If it makes you feel awkward that I'm honest about who I am in writing, then yeah, our friendship is probably superficial at best, and in those cases, I'm not really concerned on your feelings about my feelings. Feel free to unfollow (I know I unfollow certain friends posts).
2. Blogs have been used for this sort of thing for a MUCH wider audience than a group of friends behind a gated digital community, and I've personally never had any kind of issue with reading people's personal struggles, even other devs, and in fact it makes them far more human to me.
Then again, the type of vulnerability you're thinking of may be different than mine, but either way, to each his own. :)
The rest of the behaviors you mentioned are pretty much why I generally don't use Instagram or Twitter more than once every few months. Those formats, even when following devs, seem to encourage the types of activity you're discussing at least in my feeds. But FB is probably the platform I curate the most, simply because most of the people I care about use it to share about their life, from milestones to quick takes, for the most part, without excessive narcissistic self aggrandizing posts (some do, but most are fairly harmless, otherwise after a while, I just choose not to follow).
But I've noticed that there are definitely preferences across the board, which is mainly why they all seem to stick around. I doubt there will be one social media platform to rule them all, the same way there's no one amusement park or one kind of gym. There are behemoths, but there's always a long tail, especially in socializing.
When you’re really turned off by a post (or posts), try flipping it the other way around and see if you can feel your honest concern. Don’t patronize the person and make a big deal of the post, but act constructively: reach out and say hi and share the things that you like about them.
And if you can’t feel moved to do that, that’s fine. You’re not obliged to do anything. But it just might make you leave less grossed out and it might do your friend some good.
To follow up on gppong's comment, these are often people who don't know anyone well ("lonely or powerless"). So the fact that it's people you don't know well who post things like that is kind of obvious in hindsight.
I figured out how to exclude people whose updates tend to be really judgmental or political from my feed without defriending them, but I am still really frustrated by there being no way to keep it chronological. Facebook wants me to read the "top" posts, over and over, apparently, regardless of whether I'm interested or have already read them. And yet, there are many updates that I miss if I don't go to the effort of looking for them.
Most of the value to me is in the messaging function, but there's really nothing special about it compared to all the others that have existed - it's only useful because it's on FB and connected to the people I know that are there.
I find it disturbing when people I don't know ask to be friends, if they don't have any friends in common with me. I can't really understand why FB even allows this as when would they not be bots or scammers?
People came in droves when it was new and shiny and the easiest route to 'whatever' online.
At some point folks are only staying around for the messaging platform.
In some glacially-long (for the internet) pace of time, Facebook will be sunsetted in favor of the new hotness.
When it's someone you just recently met.
imagine going out of state for college and then not being able to add the hundreds of people you’ve met to your facebook friends list because you’re not already connected on facebook with at least one person in common.
people would just spend more time on another social network, where they can connect.
And, since the group are moving to a WhatsApp group soon, I wont have to use Facebook at all.
I used to post random thoughts that struck me as funny and I spent some time getting the wording just right. But I'm such an outlier that it stopped being fun. I just text them to a couple of people now.
On the few occasions I go on Facebook I have to resist the urge to post a tongue-in-cheek comment about how I check in so rarely because "you're all so goddamn boring."
And if I have to look at one more picture of somebody's $37 plate of paella I'm going to burn my eyes out with a fireplace poker.
I hope you’re joking but if not, there is help available for you. Facebook is not reason enough for self-harm. It comes very, very, very close, but close is not close enough.
Facebook is still so useful for groups and events that it’s impossible to leave though. I mean, you can leave, but then you’re the guy/woman whom others need to go out of their way to schedule with.
Twitter got it right with a "customisable news feed", the list, where I could create several list timelines for my friends and organize them by those who post about tech, business, political rants, etc.
(and that status didnt even work)
I havent missed it. It was a bunch of people that arent my friends sharing things that drive me crazy(politics that I have no impact on).
What else should we expect?
So it seems the candle is burning from both ends.
There, your unwritten moral code is now written. Go forth and spread your seed.
I moved on.
Yeah, I'm meeting fewer people than I did in uni. I use Facebook less than I did in uni. As I get older, it takes more and more effort to meet people. Easy for me to see downward trends in Facebook when I don't plot them against downward trends in novelty in my own social life.
But then I moved abroad at 25, I'm almost 30 now, I'm meeting new people (immigrants and locals) every month, and Facebook has become useful again for growing acquaintances into friendships like it always was.
HNers like to grandstand about how they rediscovered how to call people instead of messaging them, but that's still something you do with your closer circle, not acquaintances in 2018. And that's a personal issue if you had to quit Facebook just to relearn how to call mom or your best friends. I certainly don't relate to that.
It's like people who condemn Facebook because they got addicted to scrolling the news feed. Seems like condemning Netflix because you can't stop binge-watching. At which point do you take responsibility for yourself?
Aside, SimilarWeb, like Alexa, seems pretty useless for metrics. I remember gaining 100k+ Alexa ranking by installing the Alexa toolbar on my own machine and visiting my own websites as usual. Never looked at Alexa ratings since.
I guess I'm getting anti-Facebook fatigue. Especially when the predictable HN comments are things like "I quit Facebook and now I go outside again. Everyone needs to try this!"
I'm ashamed to admit my first thought was "damn I need to install Alexa and start browsing our site" lol =(
According to my life amongst real breathing people, most people come to that phase either very late in life, or never.
Plus as another comment said, these platforms are designed to addict -- they exploit brain bugs and vulnerabilities, so to speak.
Me personally? I only lasted 5-6 months in the first part of 2013. I very quickly understood what is going on and even though I was much more insecure and needed loads of validation, I still got out.
I am sympathetic to the message -- I fully get it that you should be mature and take responsibility for your emotions.
But don't idealize Homo Sapiens. Common sense isn't common at all.
Yes we should take responsibility for ourselves but the companies must be penalized when taking advantage of brain weaknesses as well.
I also have anti-Facebook fatigue and HN threads about Facebook are tiresome and predictable. It is like a never-ending line of newly converted going on about veganism or Crossfit or whatever...but in HackerNews' case it is about anti-Facebook and how you'll be smarter, sexier, sleep better, lose weight, and your children and dog will love you more once you give up Facebook.
Everything these apps do is to get people use it more, on purpose. All humans are addicted to these websites. Our brains are built like this. May be because of evolution. So it's not individual fault.
Taking responsibility for yourself is about how you use your will. Criticizing facebook is about how you use your reason. I don't see how these need to be in conflict. It's not necessary to blame yourself in order to take responsibility for yourself.
The question is how many of its existing users will stay on an affiliated Zuckerberg platform?
I use instagram a little bit.
I am writing an app in react-native.
Does that count? I basically check facebook for event invites only.
Are there any other better metrics than these two?
Speaking from personal experience, the scandals Facebook has been involved in are only a small part of why I deleted Facebook; more than anything, I just felt like it was not providing any value to me, just a pure time sink that I became less and less interested in. Maybe I'm not alone.
Bases on what I see, and that of cause completely anecdotal, more and more people simply don't post anything and the few that does are mostly commenting on sponsored posts in hope of winning a prize.
End the end enough people will quietly start visiting Facebook less and less, because their friends aren't posting anything. In the end they will simply stop using Facebook because they forget about it. Just as Facebook became inevitable at some point, because so many used it, it will crash just a quickly when enough people stop posting.
The surprising part is that advertisers still view Facebook so positively as they seem to be doing. I would think that engagement is pretty low and the number of people you actually reach is pretty low at this point.
In the end Facebook will need to be able to monetise Messenger, luckily they have WhatsApp that already knew how to do exactly that before Facebook bought them.
The "Jane is waiting for you to see her post on your timeline" stuff where FB impersonates your friend was when my wife started ignoring everything from FB (I had quit a long time ago).
Oh. How I wish that were true. You must not watch the news much because that's pretty much all I hear on virtually all the channels.
Facebook was a big part of that, so it’s gone too. I’m simply more deliberate about what I spend my attention on, and Facebook is junk food.
I dont care about anything on the news feed. I officially quit in an overtly, long drawn out week of statuses, but prior to that I had barely used FB in over months.
1. There is no benchmark and we need one because SimilarWeb is based on a panel. The less people in that panel, the less total traffic to any website.
2. Most likely cause is more app usage and less desktop usage.
Also can we please stop using SimilarWeb as some sort of authority reference? Their panel isnt humongous. Despite the fact they pay Chrome extension owners and later hijack the code to track everyone who installs it.
By chance do you have references on SimilarWeb paying "Chrome extension owners and later hijack the code to track everyone who installs it"? Curious to learn more about exactly what they're doing here.
If the News Feed team is trying to show me what I actually want to see, and not what they think will get the most interaction, ad clicks or time out of me, they are doing a terrible job. I find that the items displayed do not give me an accurate view of what my connections are posting. Often when I check the pages of in-person friends, while Facebook has been showing inane political posts by people I barely know, I have not been presented with the actually relevant and interesting activity my (real) friends have posted during the same time, or more recently.
I have unfollowed, blocked, and hidden so many stories about guns and politics, yet Facebook manages to find new friends I’ve never heard of with similar stories for my newsfeed. Ever since 2016, at least, I feel like politics is shoved in my face every time I go to Facebook, provoking me to interact with strangers regarding my opinions in one of the worst venues that one can do that.
I think they may be chasing interaction, regardless whether it’s positive our negative. Another wild theory is that they want to gather information about members’ reaction to politics, as it is not as lucrative to record reactions to someone’s cousin’s baby photos. The other alternatives mean they are very bad at their jobs, so I’m not sure.
The News Feed believed that interaction reveals a preference for seeing something. Even though they added more icons so that you weren't thumbs-upping your friends personal tragedies to indicate that they matter to you, interactions all mean “like” in the sense of “I like Facebook relaying this content to me”.
There are the specific negative indicators you can give to them such as hiding stories, which even says it will make them show fewer stories like that one, and unfollowing people. When you unfollow someone, surely Facebook attempts to analyze why? Neither of these seem to have an impact on the type of items shown to me.
I follow GQ on Facebook and even things they post are so political it's unnerving. Everything has been politicized, people are burned out. I can't even watch a late night talk show anymore without political news being shoved down my throat; so why would I log into Facebook and see what my old classmate or uncle thinks? I am a very active Twitter user, but the crowd I follow sees politics and the media obsession with it as it is, largely a joke.
Is it "politics" that you want to avoid? or just views that differ from your own?
I want to avoid circle jerks, nonsensical news items and conspiracies, etc. /r/politics and /r/The_Donald both offer no value to Reddit or society, they are all just echo chambers, and they don't value or encourage diversity in view points. They are the same thing but on opposite ends of the spectrum. /r/Politics will be full of "ShareBlue" links and /r/The_Donald will be full of Breitbart. Not sure where the diversity of thought comes into play, which seems to miss the point of a "forum."
Anyhow, on the Facebook front you have equally uninformed people telling you their opinion on something, usually based on a false premise from a biased source they read...except this time you actually -know- these people.
If you do try to find a middle ground, which is generally where most truth is, in the grey, you are attacked by both sides for not being on their team. Like it's some game.
I know it feels good to just breezily generalize, but I just looked through the 2 subreddits you named, and of the 125 top-voted links of the past 24 hours on /t/The_Donald, a whopping 4 of them are from Breitbart (a simply Ctrl+F on each page shows it). That subreddit is most memes, tweets, and even simple photos with smart-ass original titles written by the poster. Just do a word-find on "i.redd.it" and then "imgur.com" on each of the first few pages and see.
As for Shareblue on /r/Politics, there are no links from the Shareblue.com domain in the top 125 links today, but I assume you were referring to the source of the narratives; well, you would more effective in just point to actual sites: of the top 125 links on there for the past 24 hours, 16 are from WashingtonPost.com and 15 are from TheHill.com.
Edit - here:
Additionally,criticism of the democratic party from the left is frequently met with accusations of being a russian shill.
Also I got tired of seeing overused words like "slammed" in article titles.
Could you elaborate on this a bit? What type of behavior would fit the description of "letting the election go"?
News site: "Click-bait headline about something that happened that doesn't really change things."
Reddit: "A picture or anecdote about something perfectly mundane that happens to everyone, presented in a slightly interesting way that ultimately doesn't matter"
Hackernews: "A random tech article that expresses someone's opinion, or a random release of software or announcement. Doesn't really matter."
The information most likely to spread is mundane information that appeals to the most people. Welcome to the viral internet.
At least Hackernews frequently surfaces interesting content with technical depth and merit. I've learned a ton here and gotten connected to interesting technologies.
In my case it is because of information being overwhelming. I just check a couple of sites at maximum now, the digital wellbeing thing that Google presented at io this year really resonated with me
0: https://www.statista.com/statistics/268136/top-15-countries-... (No idea how accurate it is, but.)
I think people underestimate the truly global scale of Facebook. Even then, the US is a fraction of FB's user-base.
The notifications going a bit mad about 18 months ago or so when they introduced the market stuff and "your friends are interested in going to X" was what ran me off. I'd unsubscribe and unfollow and new worthless ones would take up their place.
Now I don't even bother checking my notifications; I'll log in maybe twice a day to check if I received any messages, have a scroll through NUMTOTs, that's about it.
Google is also dropping in Google Trends. Assuming there is a drop in usage of FB (not just a drop in searches for FB), I guess the 2016 election is only one contributing factor.
Unrelated, I recognise your name from GitHub, thanks for your work on the psychonaut wiki, I've used that resource many times.
Notwithstanding all the privacy issues, I remember the days when Facebook used to be fun. Back before timeline, back when it was limited to colleges, back when "Random Play" was listed as a desired relationship option. Now it's meme and clickbait article land.
People make a big deal about privacy, but the actual users of social media usually post stuff because they want everyone to know about it. The people who really care about privacy are not on social media. There's already a general understanding that when using the internet, you're getting tracked by various actors and people (even begrudgingly) accept that.
That same graph shows that Facebook usage has been dropping virtually every month before the election and after, totaling almost 50% loss. There's no exceptional change visible due to any particular event. There are some strong upticks in there as well, but the longterm trend is down.
I believe the most reasonable explanation is simply that people are moving on, just like they moved on from MySpace and other previously popular platforms. Young people are leading the charge here, it's just not as comfortable when your grandmother and high school teacher can see you on Facebook. It's uncool.
> it's just not as comfortable when your grandmother and high school teacher can see you on Facebook
I think most posts on social media are targeted at people in the poster's peer group, and the only reason that everyone else can see them too is that broadcasting is the default way to contact multiple people without prior coordination (say, by joining a group chat).
I see almost no original content posted by friends and only posts from pages with comments by my friends on them ("X and Y commented on Z page's photo")
Maybe it's one of those things that drops off after highschool / college / when everyone goes their separate ways ?
What they can track is the number of ratings - nothing else, but there's very little correlation between that and app usage.
Users like to be in control. I have seen the rss emerging again, specially here on HN discussions, and I believe that is the best solution to follow updates.
I am also slowly but surely deleting content from my account. Deleting old content, deleting likes and whatnot.
I would have likely stayed on the platform if there was an easy way to do this. One of my biggest concerns wasn't just Facebook analysing my data, but allowing others to access it indiscriminately and I wanted a way to delete it.
There's no API functionality to delete/untag/unlike anything. Timeline is a mess, there's no bulk delete option or option to even select multiple/all. No "delete after X days" feature. In the end I spent 3x12 hour shifts writing a python script using image processing to find delete buttons in timeline and go through the motions to delete everything. It took about 3 hours for me to write/debug/test 300 lines of spaghetti python and another 30 or so for it to go through everything and try to delete. All of which should have been doable in <30 lines, a single API call, or by just hitting ctrl+a and delete. I deleted my account afterwards mainly out of spite.
Considering how politicians are already getting stung by things they posted to FB/Twitter in their teens here in the UK it is absolutely incomprehensible to me how Facebook doesn't have half decent delete functionality.
No one reads primary sources anymore. All kinds of baiting conclusions and titles are drawn on absolutely minimal data with zero scientific rigor like this blog entry and my feed is just reshares of these McNews for shock value and social credits.
Don’t link to articles only viewable on Facebook. If somebody plans an event on Facebook, push back and request to be sent the details and say “I can’t log in to Facebook”, etc. Check in with your friends in non-Messenger ways, e.g. phone messaging or (gasp!) actually seeing them in person. Make walled-off sites unacceptable.
Probably what's hurting it the most is the new users count, as I think that nowadays new users pick other social networks to hang out with their friends, such as Snapchat or Instagram.
My experience from running Facebook ads is that Facebook is crawling with bots.
We might never know the actual numbers.
We also have no idea how many more there are, certainly FB wasn't warning anyone that their numbers might have been incorrect because of bots any time before getting rid of them..?
SimilarWeb buys data from ISP DNS resolvers. During the same time, Cloudflare DNS resolver was released to the public and marketed heavily.
Even my nontechy gf started using Cloudflare Resolver. She saw that on twitter was curious about the benefits and was not disappointed.
So, yeah usage did decline a bit but not that much.
I have personally complained about that, once found private URLs I sent to clients, and were not published elsewhere ever, were listed in their stats under that specific sub domain, but never got a satisfying response, if at all.