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U.S. users are leaving Facebook by the millions, Edison Research says (marketplace.org)
1293 points by rmason on Mar 6, 2019 | hide | past | web | favorite | 595 comments

By far the biggest factor that had me stopping checking Facebook, and indeed LinkedIn, is number of utterly fictitious notifications they generate. There was a time a few years back when that red dot made me drop everything to check FB, but these days it’ll be some completely bullshit message they’ve made a notification out of. Feels like they got greedy for my attention and killed the golden goose there. I check it about once a day now, and in the browser not the app. If the notifications were still meaningful I’d probably still have the app and all the metadata that sent them.

Even more annoying is the same thing that they do with email notifications. They seem to keep inventing new "categories" of notifications all the time that I haven't yet opted out of - basically because I seem to be only able to opt out of just that specific category that they just sent me an email about, when I click on the "don't want to receive any more of these mails" link below the message.

And every time, they gladly acknowledge that I will not receive any more messages of that kind.

"Okay, you won't get any more mails about new messages from friends. Okay, you won't get any more mails about stuff your friends liked. Okay, you won't get any more mails about stuff some other random people liked. Okay, you won't get any more mails about new stuff posted in groups you joined. Okay, you won't get any more mails about new stuff posted in groups you did not join, but we think you might be interested in. Okay, you won't get any more mails about new photos posted by your friends. Okay, you won't get any more mails about new photos of cats posted on Facebook. Okay, you won't get any more mails about news articles with dogs in the title. Okay, you won't get any more mails about postings your friends liked that complain about the weather and were written by women of age 35-40."

Okay, admittedly the last three were exagerrated, but all the categories before have been actual "notification categories" that I successfully opted out of, before I put a generic Facebook email filter in my mailbox, because apparently nothing else is able to stop their overly-specific-category-generation-engine from spewing out new categories to keep me busy opting out of.

I tried setting up email filters based on subject and keywords, I currently have around 15-20 but it's a futile attempt, they keep changing everything, they've even changed the language. It really feels like I'm harassed by a beggar at this point.

I filter messages that contain the Unsubscribe word.

Omg...so simple...so brilliant.

Wow this is perfect! It wouldn't work well for my work email where I need tk keep track of emails from service providers etc, but this is perfect for personal emails. Thanks :)

I've been auto-deleting emails from * @facebook * for 8 years. Never fails.

I opted out of all emails altogether - I only check my notifications once in a while. I've never missed anything of value.

> I've never missed anything of value.

How can you be sure of that if you didn't see it?

It's still there when you check it once in a while, just you don't need to be distracted by it constantly. I also have turned off notifications for all social media and email. I feel happier and embrace having peace being okay with maybe missing out on something.

Then why do you still check it?

I’m in the same boat as the GP: no emails allowed, notifications disabled. I also go back to check in the app about a couple times per week (and I’ve never missed anything of value, either). I guess it’s the residual concession to a very strong and deeply engrained habit, combined with the fact that there are some people I don’t have any other line of communication to/from, so it makes sense to maintain the toehold on the platform.

I managed to get the emails under control (IIRC, there are only about two or three dozen different types you have to individually opt of, and they haven't been aggressive about adding new ones to that list), so I never have to check the app. The only think I want a notifications for are event invites, and that's pretty much what I have.

To avoid missing anything of value!

There is some useful content and updates in the groups I am a member of.

This is an indication that user commitment is very low on Facebook.

As long as users are actively involved there is no need to send emails.

Sending emails is a (bad) trick to make people curious and make them login to your platform again.

I think the Facebook app is just 'dead' and Facebook is lucky to have Instagram.

> This is an indication that user commitment is very low on Facebook.

> As long as users are actively involved there is no need to send emails.

IIRC, Facebook sends those messages only when they've detected an account's usage dropping off. When I was a regular user, I never got them; but when I stopped logging in for days or weeks at at time, they got more intense.

They're a deliberately designed mechanism to keep addicts hooked.

That would match my usage pattern, so I guess you are correct. I'm using Facebook only rarely and am definitely and completely away from it for several days or even weeks between periods of usage.

I have a seperate facebook@ mail address and I simply never check it. Did so before switching hosters last year and saw that about 8k mails had piled up since 2011. Crazy folks.

This is also how I do it and one of the reasons I encourage people to own their own domain and email (among other reasons). I have used dreamhost since 2007 but I am really not happy about their recent move to a non-foss webmail. (to atmail from squirrel) Besides that though they are pretty awesome.

So any service that feels slightly abusive gets its own email like that, and then ignored usually.

I wonder if you can still post to Facebook by email. Having this automatically loop would make me happy.

I don’t have an account so can’t check and the instructions for doing it all seem dated.

> I wonder if you can still post to Facebook by email. Having this automatically loop would make me happy.

Nope, and you can't reply to messages either (you used to). It's actually so bad that they don't even show you the message content in the email notifications, to better lure you back to their site.

Whatever engineer who worked to implementing those regressions was being an asshole.

It's the same for LinkedIn and it really sucks.

Seems like that is discontinued: https://www.lifewire.com/post-updates-and-upload-photos-by-e...

Never knew that was an option, but shutting it down just seems logical when you see the aggressive lock-in they are doing.

Fortunately google have helped me deal with facebook by dumping all their emails into a "social" tab which I rarely bother to look at.

Too bad Google Inbox has only a couple weeks left till it's retired. :(

This sounds like a stupid question, but it's a consequence of Google using a ridiculous product name: how do I tell if I'm using Inbox?

Inbox.google.com - they also have separate apps

Right. In that case I'm not and never have been using Inbox, but I still got the separated lowercase-i-inbox from https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox

> Even more annoying is the same thing that they do with email notifications.

Oh, so much this, especially with LinkedIn. The email problem is, in the end, what got me to delete my LinkedIn account a couple of years back. And I STILL get frequent emails from them.

I saw your comment and thought to myself I haven't seen any emails from LinkedIn in a while. Then I remembered why - https://i.imgur.com/J4d4VLk.png

after about 3 or 4 iterations of me reviewing my email setting, I got seriously fed up and I've gone for the nuclear option: all my facebook emails are marked as spam and binned.

I’m not sure why this company is still allowed to send mail. Why can’t their mail servers be blacklisted?

There's nothing preventing you from setting up your own blacklist/filter. OTOH, most people don't care about this, and would be outraged if their mail provider started blocking facebook's mail.

I’m not sure if they would. It seems to me that, at best, the email has zero value to an enthusiastic Facebook user, because they are routinely engaged with the site, and have the app installed on their mobile device to receive the notifications directly. The emails are redundant to them and an unnecessary load on the internet infrastructure.

I haven't logged in for a long time and they've started sending me text message notifications about friends posting photos.

I'm pretty sure Facebook got this strategy from LinkedIn too.

It’s completely absurd.

I started like you, last year... then a couple days ago realized I hadn't checked it since mid January. And we're on March, that's a new record.

I'm not in the "I'm leaving Facebook once and for all", actually I don't have that intention whatsoever, I am (was) a normal, active user. But it stopped being interesting. The kind of interaction Fb promotes is similar to twitter; in the first years I could see my friends showing off their breakfast or sharing their thoughts about something, now everything is 3rd-party articles, photos, videos, and complaining... LOTS of complaining (via sharing a relevant article they just read).

Ironically I still write to share my thoughts on something, without photos or shocking videos, and it catcyes my friend's attention because of the "novelty" of writing something of my own instead of just sharing some link.

Btw I've NEVER wanted to install Fb apps, especially since they forced everyone to have the Messenger app if you want to chat. Always used m.facebook.com for checking out, and mbasic. for chat (with the added benefit of the crappy UI pushing me out from using it...). Similarly, Twitter is another service I use, and never wanted their app installed, instead I use their website. The same reason frequent use of Reddit is out of the question for me.

>Ironically I still write to share my thoughts on something, without photos or shocking videos, and it catcyes my friend's attention because of the "novelty" of writing something of my own instead of just sharing some link.

People stopped making posts about their daily lives, removing the thing that attracted most of us to Facebook to begin with: The possibility of following the life of friends and family, even if we don't have the chance to see and talk to them in real life as often as we would like.

As post by real people have died out, ads, promotions and link spam have taken over and now fill our "news feed", making Facebook less interesting.

If Facebook didn't have private groups, users would be leaving much faster. Still, it's interesting that none of Facebooks strategies seems to revolve around getting people to post more original and personal content.

I quit Facebook last year, and maybe I would have stayed, if they had a feature that would allow me to hide everything not directly posted by friends. Then again, maybe not, it would have left me with very little content.

facebook feels more and more like traditional tv or the web portals like yahoo! or msn. we've moved on! they went backwards.

I didn't know about mbasic and chat working. Thanks.

I'm also deleting as many apps as possible. Even Instagram works quite well without the app. Less uncontrollable spying, less battery usage, no annoying notifications, more free memory, more blocked ads and trackers.

But no replying on the comments to your posts, it seems, which is quite annoying.

I use mbasic and can reply to comments on posts.

I just checked the details and (for example) I click under the post: "2 scratches 'pon wood" (sorry I have language set to Pirate but it's the equivalent of "2 comments").

This takes me to a page showing the post, comments beneath, and a text field for me to reply into.

So it's there, just check the various links under each post to see what's available. Actually I've yet to find anything that I can't do on mbasic. I've thought something was missing several times (turning off notifications for specific groups springs to mind) but always found a way to do it eventually. It's often a hideous UX but I like how ugly mbasic is, it's FB without the sugar so you can taste how bitter it really is :) (for anybody wanting to say something like "if it's so horrible why do you still use it", it's something I do reluctantly because I have a few geographically distant friends who I like to keep in contact with and who always message me through FB)

Well, i will probably see the comment on my post after a week or two and respond then.

> Ironically I still write to share my thoughts on something, without photos or shocking videos, and it catcyes my friend's attention because of the "novelty" of writing something of my own instead of just sharing some link.

Except that, unlike the constant barrage of advertisement and "viral" content, your post will not even be shown to all your friends. And you don't get to know which ones will see it and which ones will have no idea you ever wrote anything.

I can see that kind of uncertainty putting people off from spending effort on writing nice personal posts & thoughts.

> But it stopped being interesting

A concise version of the "I don't care what happens to these people" fatal to tales ...

( https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/EightDeadlyWords )

> I still write to share my thoughts on something... catches my friend's attention because of the "novelty" of writing something of my own

Note that it's up to Facebook whether your friends ever see your post in their feed. It can't catch their attention if they never see it. The feed algorithm is way too whimsical for me to want to rely on.

mbasic is a life saver: chat, plus fast load times!

Dear God I installed LinkedIn a couple months back and their endless bs notifications made me realize that I don't need it. It doesn't give me anything. Why is it sending me 2-3 notifications a day when I have 5 friends who's profiles arent even actively used?

If it did something useful, like find me clients for the work I do then sure - I'll give them my attention. He'll, I'll pay good money for that! But I don't give a flying fuck thaty friend just graduated or a colleague got some award. I don't give a fuck and I'm sure as fuck not gonna play this game where we all pretend theirs any value in these things that email didn't accomplish 10 years ago.

I also do not understand the Linked-in notifications at all. They send an e-mail like '5 job changes' which I actually find interesting to learn about.

But when I click any of the links this information is nowhere to be found. So after a while I don't click on the links anymore and my engagement goes down.

Seems like a lot of the decisions are focused based on quick-wins engagement instead of an long lasting useful experience for the user?

It definitely looks like the effects of Goodhart's law [0] operating internally, somewhere their KPIs are measuring just the clicks, views or e-mails sent instead of the spirit of those actions (engaging users, turning passive users into active ones, etc.).

LinkedIn turned into a place where I go to answer some messages that could be good opportunities in the future, and only when I don't feel overwhelmed by recruiters' contacts.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goodhart%27s_law

For me the worst part about LinkedIn is the aggressive redirect to appstore on mobile when clicking on mail links. This is borderline malware behaviour.

For me this aggression is good, it makes me avoid that site, spending maybe a minute every 2 months on that wasteland of salarymen and networkers.

I never installed the app but as your parent comment said, it's so spammy, I had that fear since they do a lot of mail spam. If they made their mobile website usable, they would've had more than a minute of my engagement...

Investors want to see engagement metric graphs go up. Execs tie compensation to getting that metric up. Product delivers by mandating more alerts. Payday.

In the short term. Long term probably not a great idea.

When cheating is allowed to win, cheaters will win

And real people stop playing.

That is: LinkedIn users will stop being users.

LinkedIn is just a list of my previous jobs that allows recruiters to spam me with job offers. Completely disabled the notifications and was considering deleting the whole thing

Don't forget the constant shitposting by your friends and (ex)coworkers to make themselves appear very smart and hardworking. I've always felt LinkedIn is 300% the cancer that Facebook is because of all the virtue-signalling, pompous fakery and outright lying that occurs there.

It's the digital, more obnoxious version of a kid screaming ME ME ME at the sports team draft for adults. All those bullshitters with too much time on their hands (ironically at work) begging for the attention of recruiters and prospective employers to hire them.

I’m predisposed to expect shameless self promotion in so many business contexts that it seems “acceptable if annoying” to find on a business networking site. I’m not usually there to look at the “feed” anyway.

LinkedIn is completely awful in every possible way, but I'm a freelancer and a lot of clients seem to find me there, so it's vital for my work.

I don't use it for anything other than to have my CV there and messaging with recruiters, though.

LinkedIn sends me notifications that say "you might have new notifications" and then when I click it out turns it I'm all up to date. Not sure if this is on purpose or just really bad qa.

> when I click it out turns it I'm all up to date. Not sure if this is on purpose ...

Read the first three words (my highlight) and there's the answer

Lol yeah, that's them not even bothering making up an excuse to pester you. They're literally just trying to snag a hook on you for nothing.

I have made hundreds of thousands of dollars through people I have met on LinkedIn, and I continue to make money through them. In business, networking is key. It’s not going to find you clients on its own, but it definitely aids in that process if you use it to network or prospect.

Personally it's never seemed like a valuable resource in that regard to me. How do you go about this and how much success do you see?

It’s mostly passive, to be honest. About 20-30 recruiters reach out daily, so I typically tell them that I’m only willing to work remote contracts (if I’m not looking for something full time) with a bill rate of $125 / hour or more. It only takes one out of a hundred to come back with an opportunity that brings in 20-25k per month for six plus months that I can do in addition to my day job to make the effort well worth it.

There’s so much work out there - let recruiters find it for you and be super selective if you already have income. After a while, repeat business will allow you to raise your bill rates. A motivated engineer willing to put in the work can pull in $300-$400k per year, even in middle America, without trying to source work for themselves.

Thanks a lot for the tip. Guess I'll have to try it that way and see.

out of curiosity, what work do you do remotely?

Nowadays, mostly Elixir, Ruby, and React development.

Once it text messaged and emailed every contact in my phone telling them to join. It was like 2 unintentional clicks from the home screen.

Twitter has started to do that too. Notifications went from focussing on significant interactions — such as someone liking or retweeting a tweet, or following you — to 'someone you follow just tweeted' — what's the point of that notification? It's happening all the time! Notifications get devalued as companies desperately try to promote their product.

That has resulted in me disabling notifications and now I won't know if someone @me or responded to a tweet.

Those useless notifications made the whole product useless for me.

Yep, same for me. They want addicts not users.

I was never a twitter person until recently, as in the last month or so. I've had an account for years and never really used it. And wow. Going from reddit (was a huge addict) to twitter reminds me of when I went from forums to reddit/digg. I've barely used reddit in the last month. The deluge of posts at all hours is incredibly addicting. I may need to block it or scorch earth my followings.

Or make two accounts and my main one only follow positive/uplifting/motivational accounts.

Yeah. Notifications is useful, even great, when used sparingly, appropriately.

But nobody does that, so I’ve stopped granting any app not email or IM notification rights.

You reap what you saw: no “engagement” for you.

> I’ve stopped granting any app not email or IM notification rights.

Yeah, I hit that point quite a while back. I no longer want any application or service to give me notifications or send me emails. Almost nobody seems to be able to use those things in an appropriate way.

It looks like facebook is engaged in a race to the bottom, against it’s own metrics. The easiest way to be engaged is to repost memes and fake news shock posts, so the most engaged users are meme posters and fake news trolls, so features that cater to meme posting and trolling get the most bang for buck, so they’re getting trapped in a cycle of circulating ever increasing torrents of drivel.

My girls are 14 and 15 in the UK. None of their friends use facebook, and that’s not just their social circle. Facebook is just not a thing for them. The only reason they use it at all is because there is one out of school club that posts their upcoming activities on a FB page, so they literally log in once a week to check that page and they’re done. They do heavily use Instagram and WhatsApp though, so they’re not entirely out of the FB sphere.

UK here as well, I remember a couple of years back my teenage son saying "Facebook is for old people".

USA here - I was at a meeting where a teenager was speaking. He was mentioning some other social media platform and said, as an aside, "That's like Facebook for you old people."

Yeah - I did understand there was an implied "like you" in his statement :-)

Not that I've used Facebook much!

It really feels like some companies like Facebook are flying blind by using A/B testing everywhere and ignoring the long term effects of the changes they do.

Isn't A/B testing pretty much going to behave like a steepest ascent hill climbing? At each micro decision point you take what looks like the 'best' option but that means you can get stuck in local maxima?

Yes, but it gets more complicated because there's a time factor too.

If you're A/B testing each change for 2 weeks, but the negative impacts of it only happen after a few months (like what the parent post mentioned [1]), then while you're in a local maxima right now, it'll slowly sink, along with all your neighborhood of choices.

You can think of it as a function that returns the current value and another function that you have to use for the next time step. Sorta like f(a, b, c, ...) = (y, \a_2 b_2 c_2 ... -> ...). Steepest ascent hill climbing doesn't work well for finding good long term local maxima, since you don't know how long it takes until it stabilizes (or if it ever does). The best you can do is guess it'll stabilize in X amount of time, but if X is too small, you might end up stuck in a really bad local maxima.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19325816

I think the bigger problem is that A/B only measures certain things and following it blindly can have you descending in important ways that are hard to measure.

This is interesting but I don't think I fully understand. Do you mind dumbing it down for me?

Typical example: you arrive at a crossroads A where both ways work for you, so you choose the one with less traffic. Then at crossroad B you do the same, and then at C, and finally you arrive at destination D.

However, it turns out the heavy traffic at the other A branch was just for a few miles and then it was actually empty after that --- you took optimum local decisions at each step but since you weren't able to look at the big picture, you didn't actually choose the globally optimal route.

As others have pointed, this is related to the mathematical concepts of local and global maxima: sometimes your optimization algorithm happily stops when it finds a local maximum, ignoring the much better global maximum because it didn't actually traversed the whole search domain.

Global vs local maximum. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maxima_and_minima

Related: what's the best for one part of the system, may not be the best for the entire system.


Exactly this. Death by a thousand paper cuts, is another.

I wonder if they even do their A/B testing right. In my experience (none at facebook) accidental p-hacking is rampant in the tech industry, with trials being cut short or prolonged by the tester who's staring at a graph of the results in real time.

If you have a change that improves your metric initially but damages it in the longer term, and your A/B test only detects the short initial effect, you can execute your A/B test perfectly and still get the wrong result.

Interestingly that's exactly how algorithms make things go viral. They pick up on things that get a quick reaction with complete disregard for what happens in the long term. Jaron Lanier explains this in his talks [0].

So features on social media are decided based on short term gains and posts on social media are promoted like that too. It's like an entire industry forgot their parents warnings about thinking about the future.

[0] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kc_Jq42Og7Q

Or Hacker News is wrong.

You are maybe being downvoted as you stated it so bluntly, but I'm not sure your point is without merit.

The HN audience do not necessarily represent the mean/mode user, and Facebook are in a numbers game really.

I agree with most of the sentiment above - I wish I could filter posts that are just attachments, 3rd party junk, and tune the algorithm to show me posts from a core set of friends, but I also recognise I don't use FB like a most people, I imagine.

Totally agree. The three things which have driven me away are:

1) the proliferation of notifications

2) filling my feed with auto-play videos

3) the fact that fewer and fewer of my friends actively use it

Just as rising membership creates a positive feedback loop through network effects, so declining membership does the opposite.

The other main reason is that since buying a smart phone, I can access the one feature of FB that I use - messenger - while avoiding the rest. I now only log into my account to check my notifications every week or two, to see if I've been invited to anything.

Messenger.com on the computer.

Yup, it has become staggering.

I frequently get notifications on my personal page to say my business page has a notification. That notification turns out be to "Your users have not heard from you in a while, write a post".

I get this all the time, even when I have written a post within the last five hours.

I would say on average I get 5 notifications per day that are utterly useless.

The page notifications are infuriating. I'm a co-owner of my mother's business page (barely a business really, almost more of a hobby). She can barely use Facebook and just uses the page for basic communication with a few dozen people but she/we are constantly bombarded by notifications about HOW MANY USERS we could reach AND WHY DON'T YOU BOOST THIS POST. Hey, your customers haven't heard from Facebook in 10 minutes! Why don't you give them another notification!?

haha, I know the feeling.

Every single post I make "Performs better than 95% of posts on my page" ... "Click here to boost NOW!".


This x100. Totally mirrors the sentiment in my sibling comment. Somewhere along the line they lost sight of creating an experience and each facebook product became focused on improving their metrics and notifications became the weapon of choice. They so obviously need to reign in all of these different teams, reduce clutter, and get back to basics - starting with a good user experience.

ha aha. seems like all those PMs and mountains of engineers Facebook/linkedIn is hiring aren't helping their product much. They've got money to burn, so I don't think this is going to change anytime soon.

They probably A/B tested it for a fortnight, found out that it worked, and never considered folks would catch on. It drove me away checking FB, too.

They are making sure to give you red dots/numbers multiple times per day, if you login multiple times per day.

It's usually stuff like "X posted something after a long while of not posting" or "Y will participate in an event near you". Utterly useless notifications about people I don't interact with.

This is a mixture of bad UX and dark UX patterns. They are puppeteering a corpse here.

This is the same for me. I feel obligated to maintain an account and check it once in a while since I have a lot of family and friends who aren't local who do still use it (though most have transitioned from using it as a way to update people on their lives to using it as a place to effortlessly repost memes), but I'm incredibly put off by Facebook's increasingly irrelevant and desperate attempts to get my attention.

Notifications used to be things I cared about, these days they are things like "This person knows a person who is the mother of a person on your friends list. Add Friend?"

I just block the notifications now and log into Facebook every couple of days in a browser and quick scan the feed.

Try having a business page on Facebook! Anytime you log in, they will create some new notification that you know is not true. "5 people have viewed X business, try posting again." Or "1 new person liked X business" then you check and the number of likes is the same. Which is pretty easy to check when the number of likes is in the 2-3 digit range.

Are you sure these are false? I am really skeptical of that.

Could this be mixed w people unliking and hence the number doesn't change?

No kidding. With how smart they are and all the AI that goes on behind the scenes, I don't understand why I continue to get notifications when friend X 'adds to their story'. I have never once watched anyone's story. And I don't plan on starting. Aren't they smart enough to understand that this is just adding cognitive overhead and detracting from my immersion in a meaningful experience? Seriously, not rocket science. These UX people should get that.

Most of their "AI" is just applied statistics. Train a statistical classifier to classify "events a user wants to see" then run it in prod and elevate the results to notifications. Run an A/B trial (quite possibly p-hacked) to determine if people actually like it. Ignore the false positive rate (e.g. the rate at which you're annoying people) if you think it's arbitrarily small enough. When people ask how you determine which events to turn into notifications tell them The Algorithm decides it and let their imaginations, seeded by pop culture science fiction, run wild about what sort of superhuman synthetic intelligence you have pent up in your computers when really all you've got is a glorified bayesian spam filter.

Exact same thing for me ! I uninstalled both twitter and facebook app when I realized they were faking notifications for me to open their apps, since I guess they need that for their DAU bs. Since then, I check twitter once a week in a browser mode, and facebook once a day with the firefox container.

> Feels like they got greedy for my attention

Bingo. Every time I check Facebook there's at least one "notification". It's always one of

* A page I own has x new views

* A friend or two is interested in an event (not even going to, interested in)

* You have memories on this day

Aside from Messenger for a few ongoing group convos my Facebooking time is mostly limited to interest groups at this point, and I'd happily jump ship with them if they moved to a self-hosted forum or mail list

Yeah, I'm a very passive FB user and have removed all the FB battery draining crap from my phone, so I don't get meaningful notifications very often, but I'm checking it out at least every few days out of habit. It's always showing me a bunch of notifications for completely random things, like some new random post in marketplace group I'm participating, but no notification for the 50 other new posts in there or other groups. Or somebody I haven't spoken to in years is going to some event I never heard about. At this point I don't even see them as notifications, just a list of random things that happen and don't affect me.

My breaking point was when they fucking texted me that I had "notifications" when I hadn't logged in for a while. No doubt those notifications were that someone is going to an event I don't care about somewhere within a 100 miles of me.

I never did give Facebook my phone number, thank god

I don't recall ever explicitly doing so. I'm sure something I did gave them implicit permission to siphon it off my phone when I had the app installed.

This is what lead me to switch to using their website on mobile, rather than the app. The same goes for LinkedIn, which I had the app for perhaps a week before I got fed up with its bullshit. I still have messenger for the tiny number of people who don't use WhatsApp or Signal.

It's been good. I've taken to disabling notifications and uninstalling apps for most sites, I don't need them telling me when I should be looking at stuff, and mobile sites have improved a lot. It's all become much more intentional on my part.

Ironically, the annoying anti-patterns that sites like LinkedIn use to encourage you to switch to their app instead of their mobile website just encourage me to use them less overall. LI is probably the worst, along with Reddit.

I don't have an issue with most of the content of my FB feed itself, because most of the people I'm friends with don't post crap. I'm not friends with people I don't actually want to stay in touch with and I mute the small number that overdo the minion memes. My feed consists largely of stuff about my friends and reletives that I find, at worst, uninteresting and skippable. I don't seem to have all the "crazy people" problems that a lot of people seem to complain about (perhaps I'm just lucky that my family are pretty normal). I find twitter is much worse for things like political share-spam or vague-tweeting, but I'm pretty focused in who I follow there too, and turn retweets off for anyone who is a bit of a retweet spammer.

I find it funny when people complain about Facebook because their feed is full of their MLM hawking aunt or the rantings of some odd "friend". I think there is a lot wrong with Facebook, but you can't blame them for your friends and family. That's like inviting a load of people to a pub for your birthday, then leaving a bad Yelp review because the company was bad.

You can almost get a glimpse of the financial health of a company by the number of bullshit messages they send you. The trend is especially important. Just like you i’ve noticed facebook getting spammier and spammier, starting from the middle of last year. Which means things were probably starting to smell funky around that period

Exactly. I removed FB from my mobile devices for just this reason.

(cries in Samsung)

You can use adb to uninstall apps like FB and Chrome in a few minutes, with your phone connected to a computer


> This works because applications truly aren’t being fully uninstalled from the device, they are just being uninstalled for the current user

If it's not running and doesn't send you notifications or demand updates, do you care all that much?

In many ways no. NB the same can be achieved by disabling the App in settings?

There is the principal of who owns the device... But that is a slightly different topic.

Disable it in app settings, that effectively uninstalls it.

I used this method on my friends'/family phones where I can't just flash an AOSP-based ROM. That will change now that I found out about debloating through ADB.

Disabling is better than nothing, but it's no substitute for actually uninstalling.

The boy who cries wolf <-> The app that notifies

Do it too often and with too much urgency, and eventually you will be utterly ignored.

Annoyingly, what's kept me on it is the fact that some super-niche private groups (that would otherwise be ideally suited to a forum or subreddit) have sprung up that have content that I simply can't get anywhere else.

If on Android I recommend the Facebook Lite app. Its not as obnoxious and on Android you can tell the OS to ignore all notifications from an app.

The lite version of Facebook is probably the only worthy version, I just wish it could be firewalled so you know when it tries to use network access and lock it down to just when you open the app.

I assume Lite Android apps arent allowed to use much data but I could be making a bad assumption. It still saves on battery life at least.

I agree though they would notify me of potential friends and they were never ever people I knew or wanted to be friends with (because I didnt know them!).

The full fat messenger is the most annoying app I have ever used. It's like a small child constantly trying to get your attention when you are busy with other tasks.

Yeah, they have Messenger Lite, but I rather not have two apps for the same website. You can go on Messenger.com though if you want a web only experience.

I logged in for the first time in a few weeks recently. Out of 50+ notifications, literally only 1 was something I cared about seeing. I wish I were exaggerating.

I've posted this before but Instagram actually creates fictitious notifications when you stop using the app. That prompted me to delete it altogether.

Anecdata, but this was a big factor for me as well. Having joined somewhat early, they had me with the red badge like Pavlov with his bell. It was effective because of the variable reward. I logged in to see if there was a red badge. Now there’s always a red badge.

They are starting to kill the attractiveness of instagram too. I get more notifications a day from spam accounts requesting to follow me or send me messages that my use of the app has declined substantially over the last year.

There was a point when I got fed up and unsubscribed from all notifications from everything. Now I only operate in pull-mode. I check my things 1-2 times a day and I receive zero notifications. My life is much better now!

Totally agree! Ever since they added story updates into the notifications screen, it has totally lost meaning. That and friends attending random events, etc. It used to actually mean something.

Once per day? That's a lot. I wouldn't call that "stop checking Facebook". You are still a MAU (monthly active user) in their statistics.

Same thing with twitter; every tweet is a notification it seems *facepalm

Here's the kicker, which I think others have pointed out, but I want to say this succinctly:

First, to quote the article:

> The big gainer, interestingly, is under the same roof as Facebook. It's their co-owned Instagram

Now, to my point: The average person does not care about privacy, just the illusion of privacy (I suspect people reading this site intuitively know this. At some level, nearly everyone is in different ways, it turns out.)

Instagram provides that illusion by not injecting opinionated content into your feed (The most obvious example: you aren't seeing injected news stories in your Instagram feed, generally its only ads and people you follow, and the ads are marked)

Rest assured, they're getting their data's worth, maybe not the same way, but photos (particularly metadata on the photos that most smart phones, for instance, default collect) are just as (if not more so) valuable, not to mention there are still a myriad of other ways of collecting privacy intrusive data about users.

Hows about that?

(just to show my assertion is not completely unfounded, check out this survey:


The survey says: 9 out of ten americans care deeply about privacy (particuarly around data privacy and collection)

Yet, our actions, even faced with the outright knowledge of those very things being actively and routinely violated by services, is not enough for people to leave platforms for good, simply, people shift between social media outlets, like those leaving Facebook over privacy concerns yet still continue to use Instagram, in fact, Instagram is projected to grow as noted in this article, in part because of people migrating away from Facebook)

I think focusing only on privacy is a mistake. Every single person I’ve talked to that has deleted Facebook has done so because it did not improve or enrich their lives whatsoever, in fact, they saw it as a net negative. Why do people feel the need to endlessly browse pictures and statements by loose connections? Not one person I’ve talked to has mentioned privacy.

Yes, many of those people are on Instagram, but some of those have also left IG because they’re seeing the exact same strategy they saw executed on Facebook now being used on Instagram.

I’ve actually seen more people using private iCloud photo shares. I think FB as a whole has exaggerated how many people actually want to share and connect with random people or loose connections.

I think FB and people in general dramatically overstate how many connections they'll lose if they quit Facebook. I quit Facebook 9 years ago, but haven't lost a connection I cared about. I did lose connection with real people that were a net negative in my life, though

> I quit Facebook 9 years ago, but haven't lost a connection I cared about.

I did the same, around the same time, and my experience was the same as yours.

I would go even further -- I found that after I quit Facebook, my connections with the people I actually care about increased rather than decreased once the intermediary was removed and we had to start communicating directly with each other.

There's really no substitute for giving a friend a phone call or meeting them for lunch.

Self-selecting sample. People who are confident they won't lose any friends they value through leaving FB are significantly more likely to drop the platform.

My point is the lack of confidence is probably unjustified. But perhaps I'm wrong. It's not difficult to imagine that connections people think they have are so shallow that they actually would lose the important ones if they left Facebook.

I like the learning aspect of this. Before i was all in, now i know, this new thing is not for me.

I did not leave Facebook because of privacy concerns. That's your biggest mistaken assumption.

I work on Big Data for a living and know how inept companies are at actually doing anything useful with personal data. The data being generated is massive and the vast amount of it is random and useless.

My reason for reducing my social media presence is the Like count next to every thought expressed. By adding a publicly visible number next to every expressed human thought, you influence behavior and thinking. This has all kinds of consequences that tech corps and society are waking up to - ledger.humanetech.com

That is why I have consciously reduced my social media usage.

>I work on Big Data for a living and know how inept companies are at actually doing anything useful with personal data. The data being generated is massive and the vast amount of it is random and useless.

Your anecdotal experience isn't evidence businesses aren't doing anything with data collection which would be worrying to consumers or that privacy concerns are overrated. And yes, this is what that paragraph of yours is implying.

If your company didn't have a strategy for analytics, it doesn't mean others do not either. The mere fact that users get used to that practice is already a win to those who wish to take advantage of that information.

Not to mention that the greatest threat comes from sharing and connecting those databases, so what may have been random and useless may find significance when sold to other aggregators.

Same here.

After working in a fin-tech for a while, I realized how greedy these companies are for data, and how useless they render it. I was amazed by the scarcity of talent and overwhelming amount of routine job I encountered and lack of diversity of projects and space for free thinking.

Anyway, I got rid of FB/Insta years ago(4-5 maybe), and recently I also closed LinkedIn acc. as well, I have low tolerance to BS and self-glorified business gurus. I'd rather do something meaningful in my everyday life)))


I wish I could tell you exactly when it started happening, but the number of vapid and/or histrionic LinkedIn posts floating to the top of my feed has really picked up in the last 12 months or so. What used to be a pretty useful and concise activity feed has started to look more like the uglier sides of your average Facebook feed.

I can't say if it's a content problem associated to the normalization of social apps as a whole (probably a bit) or the changing of the LI algo to push this stuff to the top (probably also attributable), but it's certainly diminished my general experience.

That said, LinkedIn is still very useful for recruiting and being recruited insofar as it is a widely-used database for professional information. I just don't recommend using it casually.

The cyber criminals who penetrate these companies seem to be a bit better at doing useful things with the data.

Not as much of a concern here, but nefarious governments around the world are quite good at doing awful things with this data as well.

> The survey says: 9 out of ten americans care deeply about privacy (particuarly around data privacy and collection)

This is a problem with focus groups. Ask people 'do you care about your privacy', and almost everyone will answer yes.

There's almost zero social cost to answering that question in the affirmative.

On the other hand, there's a good deal of social sacrifice in leaving these platforms for good.

More likely - they don't care about privacy as much as they say they do and are leaving Facebook because it has become a polluted river of crap.

Exactly. Asking someone "do you want to have more savings?" is meaningless. Everyone will say yes. The right question to ask is "will you cook at home to save $10000 a year?"

And even out of the majority of people who will say, “yes, they’ll cook at home to save $10K,” only a small percent of those will actually do so.

> only a small percent of those will actually do so.

Even then, it won't save them the money. Like anything else, if you want to save the money - you have to move it out of your regularly accessed account, and put it somewhere else, ideally an account you can't withdraw as easily from.

So - when you cook for your family to save the money - you need to then (immediately) move the money you would normally spend for dinner (perhaps minus the amount for ingredients, time, and power - if you feel it necessary) over to that other account.

But most people never do that, I'd wager.

Instead, that extra money stays in their primary account, which they then likely spend on something else. So their savings continue to be zero (or likely less), and they continue to wonder where their money goes...

Much easier to appoach these the other way round: I could choose not to cook at home, but that would cost me a fortune, so I never stopped doing it. Best way to avoid expenses is not to commit to them in the first place.

Same goes for avoiding exploitative apps: never install apps unless there's no alternative. Block all ads. Deny all notifications, especially on the desktop browser. No, I won't send you my location.

It's annoying to have to maintain a wall of "no" but it saves problems in the long run.

> On the other hand, there's a good deal of social sacrifice in leaving these platforms for good.

I honestly don't think that there is much social sacrifice involved in leaving these platforms. I think there's a good deal of fear of social sacrifice, though.

You have the exact same pattern around road/airplane/food safety, hygiene and disease control, housing quality, and much more...

All problems that people care about but the average person cannot tackle autonomously.

And that's why societies implemented regulatory bodies (often through national governments, but that's not a requirement).

GDPR is a small step in that direction.

I don't think the migration is caused by privacy concerns. Facebook has become ridiculously bloated with all kinds of features up to the point where it starts resembling enterprise software rather than an online consumer service. Even I, a techie, sometimes have hard times understanding how to do this or that in Facebook.

On the other hand, Instagram is plain simple and understandable.

When I first joined Facebook after jumping ship from Myspace, it was really simple to use with minimal intrusion of media clickbait which is in stark contrast to the bloated and highly optimized for engagement monstrosity it has become today.

I was grandfathered into this experience and it no longer appeals to me today as an adult. I suspect this phenomenon is affecting other early adopters as well. Can anyone else relate?

I joined 10 years ago after the local equivalent of classmates become utterly useless which mean creators had to seek for revenues and that included but wasn't limited to sponsored profiles of local brands and famous people, virtual currency (you could spend on ridiculous pictures that were meant to enrich your profile and interaction with people), games, annoying promotion of their twitter-alike microblog nobody had idea how to use and which caused great uproar. Service was of course filled with ads of which most controversial one was sucking out your profile picture to dump you an customized credit card ad. Before those "improvements" it was a good place to reconnect with people you knew but since it was something new and unknown, a lot of them had no idea how to use it and made fool of themselves or deliberately used it as dating site - hell, at some point profiles of prostitutes of both sexes started to appear. Facebook largely dethroned naszaklasa in upcoming years but IMO didn't improved social skills of most people who carried those along to the new network. The service was sold but still operates and it's popular among less experienced with technology people.

The similar scenario happened with news agregator similar to digg - at the beginning wykop was aimed for powerusers, IT professionals but quickly idea was extended and included content of various type. Userbase grow had an upward trend which of course lead again to monetization; ads, sponsored content, microblog, shameless promotion of certain political agendas were introduced and at the same time, the content quality heavily piked down. Site still operates today under third - if I'm not mistaken, owner but I'm no longer there since interaction with biased content and teenager, 20-something trolls is not appealing at all.

So yeah, I believe it's pretty the same thing everywhere: a simple service idea is successful, userbase grows and revenue sources are needed. Sources are being introduced along with new features but content quality starts to drop. Unpopular decisions are made leading users to migrate in search for better and simple alternatives.

Do you think there is enough abandonment of the core userbase that Facebook can be dethroned?

I really doubt it; they may lost users in long term but not because of new player - they have seem to reached already over-complexity stage with features and thus service will simply become unappealing to existing and new users but that will take time. If they start changing messenger into more discord-slax alike service then they may keep users as this form of communication seems to be getting more popular

I wonder how many people leaving in the USA are fed up with the endless political fights? It’s why I left.

I think they do actually care about privacy but are only ever offered illusion.

The problem really is lack of choice.

No one wants choice either. Having 100 social media apps on your phone is not ideal. We want one choice that is also a good choice. That seems virtually impossible when companies are motivated only by profit and only kept in check by customers having a better choice or by government regulation.

If facebook was driven purely by the motivation to help people stay in touch with their friends and to find events going on it would be a truly wonderful platform. Virtually every issue on facebook comes from seeking profits. At least problems from facebooks side anyway. There is also the social issues of propaganda and jealousy but facebook would have more time to deal with these when they aren't making the company more money.

> That seems virtually impossible when companies are motivated only by profit and only kept in check by customers having a better choice or by government regulation.

Assume this in every situation and you'll never be disappointed ;)

Agreed, as noted in the survey I linked to, 9 out of 10 people (in accordance to this survey, but even its more realistically 7 out of 10, its still a lot of people) claim to. I think its a few things:

1. Awareness. I don't think people are aware of how/what services are collecting data and how that data can be collected

2. Influence. Its hard, I imagine, for a lot of people to drop social media altogether. Its not all vanity. My wife has a disability that sometimes leaves her bedridden for weeks. Without social media, she wouldn't be able to communicate with our friends unless they call/text/come over, which they do, but its not always feasible one of those things will happen, so following them on Instagram and chatting via Facebook Messenger is really helpful in keeping her spirits up in those times.

3. Inertia. I think a lot of the current outrage against Facebook has been media driven, in particular, I think after Trump got elected -

(just a side note here before I continue, I'm talking about a criticism of media in general, not democrat vs republican politics or anything of the sort)-

I have a strong feeling, that I can't really substantiate, so take it as you will, of course (I acknowledge I could be wrong), large main stream news outlets started digging around about the mechanics of that election, and stumbled into the Cambridge Analytica scandal as a result, increasingly their practices came under fire, in part because I think some large media organizations (rightly, in my opinion) blame their data harvesting practices on getting Trump elected in the first place.

This also brings up another point I find so sad: despite the openness of the internet, the mass media still reigns supreme in being able to influence the masses, and I (anecdotally) feel like the power of freely and ubiquitously available knowledge via the internet has not had the impact on this sort of thing that one would have hoped. It was one of the promises of the internet in the 90s, that we would all vastly become more informed and it would take vastly less effort (and it does, if you are looking for it).

If the problem was lack of choice, why do the large majority of all Facebook users never change their privacy settings?

Or why did hundreds of thousands of users actively choose to share their data with a random company called Cambridge Analytica?

The problem is not lack of choice. The problem is that people don't care.

Or why did hundreds of thousands of users actively choose to share their data with a random company called Cambridge Analytica?

They certainly have never chosen to do so. You can accuse them of participating in some innane quiz, but it was exactly the big scandal that not only the participants' data, but also that of their friends was sucked and resold to Cambridge Analytica without their knowledge by the "researchers".

All participants have actively clicked a button to confirm that they would give Cambridge Analytica access to their profile data and data from their friends. The scandal was not that the data was collected without the participants knowledge. The scandal was that they used the data for something else, than what they initially had told the participants.

Slight correction: since 9/10 said they care about their privacy, its more that they are not educated on what Facebook does with their data, or how to limit their own exposure. Lack of education != ignorance.

Maybe they do care about their privacy, they just care more about sharing stuff and more about looking at videoes than they care about looking at ther privacy settings. The media has been all about Facebook and privacy for many, many years. Facebook have had popup dialogs on user feeds asking users to check their privacy settings. People are not uneducated about it. They just don't care enough to change their behavior or make an active change on their settings.

> Instagram provides that illusion by not injecting opinionated content into your feed (The most obvious example: you aren't seeing injected news stories in your Instagram feed, generally its only ads and people you follow, and the ads are marked)

What Facebook content do you consider "injected"? AFAIK, the only things in feed are:

1) Posts, events, shares, etc from people or pages that you follow

2) Posts that your friends have interacted with (liked, commented on, etc)

3) Ads that are marked as "promoted"

Back in the day you didn’t have “pages that you follow,” you had interests listed on your profile. These later became pages that you were automatically signed up to, which the relevant companies post ads on. My feed rapidly became mostly adverts which I’d never actually signed up to receive, and it was more effort to fix it than to just stop checking Facebook.

I think it's number 2. I don't particularly want to see what my random stuff my friends are liking or commenting on. I know Instagram provides this too, but it's separate from the main feed.

And the reverse: I use facebook for very little else than to run my hobby life (and it's been transformational at that!), but my non-hobby network is still connected to the account and I don't want to annoy them with a flood of deeply specific posts (in part because life demands keeping a facade of being a somewhat normal person). So much self-censoring because it would be shown to an uninterested audience I care about.

When I used to visit Facebook, I get "Popular On Your Network" stories.

I consider #2 as injected. Basically, any content that was not directly posted by a "friend" to share to their network.

> Now, to my point: The average person does not care about privacy, just the illusion of privacy (I suspect people reading this site intuitively know this. At some level, nearly everyone is in different ways, it turns out.)

>Instagram provides that illusion by not injecting opinionated content into your feed (The most obvious example: you aren't seeing injected news stories in your Instagram feed, generally its only ads and people you follow, and the ads are marked)

I think you're right about the content that people like being missing, namely shared video and images, but wrong about the underlying reason people prefer that stuff being gone. The content is vastly different on Instagram 90% of the stuff I see is at least tangentally the life/art/activities of the people I follow. It may be a heavily edited near fake version but it's not the 100th 5 minute craft video or a reshared news story from that (more than) slightly kooky uncle.

I think the general lack of a share button (there are ways to 'reinsta' [I believe that's the term] but from the people I follow that's fairly rare and it's mostly sharing art) leads to a materially different type of content. Maybe this is just a byproduct of the different groups in both though Facebook is the older platform for me so there's a lot of people I don't particularly care about anymore on there and Instagram being newer (and not positioned to me as the primary social hub so there's less pressure to follow everyone) I have a more curated list of followers.

Finally Instagram is just much easier to consume to me since it's mostly just the visual snapshot of some activity with less generic shared content and much less video.

TL;DR: I'm not sure it's the privacy differences (perceived or real) between Facebook and Instagram rather than the content differences. ie more things directly related to the people/groups I follow.

Advertising, and tracking user data are not inherently bad. The user must know what's being tracked, and probably more importantly, the user must be getting something of value in exchange. Facebook is an ever-degrading skinner box, providing less and less value to users while being addictive and malicious.

Contrast this with something like Google Maps: It's a privacy nightmare too, but it's also incredibly useful.

> tracking user data are not inherently bad.

If that tracking is being performed on people who have not given informed consent, then it is very bad.

Internet could not be as free as it is without advertising. Facebook and Google need to gain money so that we could use them for free.

> Internet could not be as free as it is without advertising.

I don't think that's true. That's true for certain things, like Facebook and Google, but those sorts of companies do not constitute "the internet".

I rarely use Facebook these days, and the reason has nothing to do with privacy. There's simply nothing interesting on Facebook to pull me back.

> Hows about that?

All I put on Instagram are landscapes and some cityscapes. I do not see like giving away any privacy doing that. Alas, phot-sharing days of Instagram are in the past and stories get more and more annoying every day without any option not to see them :(

I don't have Facebook, but I do have Instagram. For some reason, the ads I see on Instagram are wildly untargeted. Like some Dallas based real estate company advertising to me, even though I'm based out of India

> I don't have Facebook, but I do have Instagram.

Which means you have Facebook in a different costume.

If Instagram doesn't heavily customize the ads or the news feed, then how does it extract any value from the data it collects?

Using the data to personalize ads elsewhere? Does Facebook operate a conventional ad network out on the web? (I could not name it, but I assume they do)

Instagram/FB data crossfeeding.

That means IG will lose its value as people stop spending time on FB. So it would have to develop some independent way to monetize its users.

A few seconds of googling: facebook calls their off-site advertising product "audience network". Same model as Google selling ads placed elsewhere than a search engine result page.

Also object recognition/tagging on Instagram photos

Everyone here is celebrating "people leaving facebook" as if it is a victory. People are simply moving from facebook to instragram as instragram is viewed as more "hip" and "young".

The title could be "Instragram gaining millions of users in the US" but I guess that doesn't sell as well.

Also, facebook may be losing users in the US, but it's gaining users overseas. So overall, facebook's overall user count is going to continue to climb for a while.

Note: personal opinion bellow

It seems to me that the overall interest in Facebook is decreasing. The social network hasn't had any interesting feature added to it in the last couple of years. It's becoming boring and boring, so that's why I believe people are leaving.

Still, Instagram and WhatsApp are running strong with barely no competition. We don't see any news about their user base decreasing and news channels don't seem to dislike them. Facebook is doing a good job making sure their biggest three platforms are seem as independent from one another, keeping Instagram and WhatsApp almost free from controversy.

Personally I see no loss for them here. Besides, they will promptly acquire any new players that look promising, or shamelessly copy them as they did with Snapchat.

It's becoming boring and boring, so that's why I believe people are leaving.

The problem with Facebook, is that either it's boring, or it's not boring, and in that case it's often far worse. Facebook latched onto the fact that outrage measures as "engagement" then other people latched onto that fact and started to use Facebook for their own outrage mongering purposes.

Still, Instagram and WhatsApp are running strong with barely no competition. We don't see any news about their user base decreasing and news channels don't seem to dislike them. Facebook is doing a good job making sure their biggest three platforms are seem as independent from one another, keeping Instagram and WhatsApp almost free from controversy.

So one company, three brands?

If I were to start my own crowdfunding app, I'd have one app with three "skins" and three different brands, each a different level of "edginess." In the Terms of Service would be the discretion for the site to "shift" your account from one of the three to another. The only effect of this, would be to shift the public information around the creator and subscriptions from one site to another. I would do this, so that "maintaining our brand" would never become an issue in funding creators, even edgy or downright controversial ones.

So much this: outrage measures as "engagement"

And yes it affects Twitter as well.

It seems to me that it takes "energy" to get people to change. Change being one of how they think about something, how they respond to something, or what they spend their time on. As far as I can tell, there are three very well known and very well studied energy pools that can be amplified and then tapped, one is fear, one is anger, and one is reward.

With fear and anger, a process is set up to increase levels in the target, while simultaneously offering a solution vector (ie a change in behavior that will address the fear or anger). I am sure psyche majors can quote all sorts of work here on that aspect of things.

For web companies, if your revenue is derived by ads, and you can only get people to click on your ads if they are looking at your page, it seems using fear and anger to drive people to page after page would be the best strategy to maximize their exposure to ads.

"outrage measures as engagement" is a perfect summary of the effect. The feedback loops are horribly exploitative.

I read that the "engagement" measure supported the Trump presidency since their ads were more clickbait than content-driven [1]

[1] https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/02/27/analysis-trumps-faceb...

I was never that engaged in Facebook, just checked it once a week. Then I started helping managing a private forum (for Michigan entrepreneurs) and got invited into another one. Now I'm on FB a couple of times a day.

Having the chance to engage with bright people who share my passion was the key. But the majority of my family has never been on Facebook.

This has been a common refrain from a lot of people. Facebook seems to have a lock on community it’s discussion forums for all sorts of small groups.

It works since basically everyone is on it and you don’t have to make people register and create an account as a barrier to entry. People used to have email listservs instead, but I think there is so much email marketing now that the signal to noise ratio on most people’s personal accounts approaches 0.

If someone could create a platform for an online discussion forum that doesn’t require signing up for a new service, will notify you of activity, and is free that would probably help a lot of people move over. NextDoor might have been able to, but they’re too focused on specific geographic neighborhoods and they have a serious racism problem.

This is why I liked Reddit so much when I have discovered it.

You get thematic subreddits for these kind of discussions, and you didn't even need a full-fledged account. Just a nickname. No email confirmation, no phone authentication, no anything.

Although now Reddit requires an email address for signup.

I think it's just a UI dark pattern now. It doesn't look like you can skip past the email, but you can. As of last month at least.

You're right. There's an Email field on the first signup page, but you can just click Next and set up an account.

I have a pseudonym FB account that I am forced to maintain for this reason (specialist interest groups). It's the new phpbb even though it completely sucks as a forum tool. The same questions get asked over and over. But worse is better I guess.

I went to great lengths to keep my account completely anonymized, so the suggested friends list is a hilarious cross-section of global randos. Of course being a pseduonym account I could be banned at any moment.

My SaaS company has a user group on Facebook. It has been great and allowed us to build a strong community among our customers.

And one of my goals for 2019 is to shut that group down and move the conversation into our app.

> you don’t have to make people register and create an account as a barrier to entry

Cool, I had not realized that Facebook now allows non-members to post and participate in their forums. That's really great! Not sure where on Facebook it is one can do that, but I'll be on the look out now that I know they've added this.

> basically everyone is on it


> latched onto the fact that outrage measures as "engagement" then other people latched onto that fact and started to use Facebook for their own outrage mongering purposes.

So this must be your assessment of twitter as well? Same current observation, Same predicted outcome?

Same current observation, Same predicted outcome?

I sincerely hope so!

I find that to be a really intriguing idea. Offering a gradient instead of platform ultimatums. Could this scale, is the question?

YouTube has YouTube Kids plus different levels of content filtering available to users. Similar concept, in a way.

I wish they'd accommodate news and opinion in the same way. Maybe that way, they could keep their employees out of the business of censoring the internet in line with their particular biases.

Could this scale, is the question?

In a way, it would be like shadowbanning, but more open.

>one app with three "skins" and three different brands, each a different level of "edginess."

They aren't a tech company as such but this reminded me of Coca Cola. There's Coke, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Coke No Sugar plus whatever flavored variations they are currently doing. They are all slight variations on more or less the same product but it gives people the feeling that they are making a choice.

I think Coke No Sugar is supposed to be the replacement for Coke Zero. They also aren’t identical as Zero/No Sugar uses stevia as the sweetener while Diet Coke uses Aspartame.

I will bit the rebranding of Zero to No Sugar might have also been an attempt to get ahead of legislation to tax sugary drinks.

I deleted my account years ago, but ended up creating a fake account under a fictitious identity for the odd event organized through Facebook. I log in every so often just to see what's up. It appears to be a mixture of paid content and two random friends posting memes.

I have to think people are deriving some value from it, but I cannot imagine what it is.

Just like with twitter, it all depends on who you follow; Some content is dramatically better than others. And just like with twitter, most of the content is essentially garbage.

Agreed. And I think this is one reason I love FB and can't stand Twitter. I kept buying into the "follow important people on Twitter" and it's just crap. I don't care what a noted Icelandic volcanologist retweeted about canaries. I don't care what my favorite F1 driver retweeted about english football. I don't care. I don't follow "influencers" because I don't care what they think, but I thought at least getting things from the horse's mouth, as it were, would be interesting, but it's just not.

I follow friend and family on facebook. If they post crap, it's because they have stupid things to say. I don't have many friends who I think are stupid.

Obviously you can follow celebrities on facebook and only follow friends on twitter but it doesn't feel like they're made for that use case, the 'reverse' of what I use it for.

Obviously you can follow celebrities on facebook and only follow friends on twitter but it doesn't feel like they're made for that use case, the 'reverse' of what I use it for.

Someone here not long ago on HN opened my eyes to the 'lists' feature of Twitter, it's been a remarkable improvement for me with the platform. "IRL" friends in one list, "Net" friends in another, sports commentary (because that's a thing I'm into), etc. etc. Crap is more or less 'siloed'.

I wish twitter promoted the feature more, to be honest, I think it can help with some of the gripes you have, if not for you maybe for others as it did with my experience on the platform.

You can turn retweets off for the people you follow. I follow maybe 100 people who post regularly but only allow retweets from a handful of them. Since I've done so, the quality of my feed has improved dramatically. Usually, when I follow a new person I leave retweets on initially but turn them off after two or three retweets because I'm only interested in what they say originally.

Incidentally, the iOS Twitter client also shows tweets in your feed which your followers liked. And you can't turn that off. I don't understand that feature at all and it made me switch to a third-party client.

Thanks! I didn't realize that, good advice. Didn't notice the 'likes' .. I mean, I'm sure it's bothered me, I just didn't realize why it was happening, just closed twitter every time i saw too much junk.

I feel the same way about twitter. The only time I ever visit is when some service I use isn't working and I want to see if they've said anything about it being down (or it's just me).

Following interesting people generally has nothing to do with following celebrities.

People could post the same stuff on FB, Twitter, or email lists the hard part is finding stuff worth subscribing to. It’s really more about what platform creators use, and Twitter’s lightweight nature means a lot of interesting things end up on it.

TBH, twitter's UI is so atrocious and takes up so much real estate, it's less information-dense than FB, somehow. Neither one is good, though.

Years ago I deleted my Facebook account [the "please everything" request, for what that's worth]. I felt so much better after doing so.

I then soon joined Twitter and consciously curated who I followed. I felt [and still do feel] fine about being on Twitter.

Some months ago I rejoined Facebook. I am consciously curating who I do and don't "friend" or follow. So far, so good. Yes, I am noticing the now-expected targeted ads ... but I prefer them, to be honest. Market me tickets to the Fandango showing of 'Logopolis' please; even if I don't buy, that's much more useful than the usual random jar of some guy's snake oil you'd offer me 20 years ago. Is this me being Institutionalized on tracking? Maybe, but there is an "after the uncanny valley" for tracking/advertising just like there is for robotics and AI. I'm interested to see how that works in relation to echo chambers.

I have to think people are deriving some value from it, but I cannot imagine what it is.

I know a couple of people who don't have any Facebook "friends" connected to their accounts, but they follow brands and companies they're interested in keeping up with.

It's sort of like RSS, but with more companies on board.

I barely use facebook's website, I don't post anything but keep a account around for family, folks who want to use messenger and the odd event/group. It's a bit like having that hotmail address from highschool for the odd person who has that as your only contact point. I kept AIM and ICQ around for a long time for that reason.

I think younger folks have migrated to Instagram, snapchat, etc. where they actually post/use the platform.

Deleted FB account over a year ago.

Always wondered if we could create a lurker account that everyone shares — we share the password and just agree not to change the password, post, etc.

This is what I've done as well. Fake name, profile, wildly random answers to profile questions and thumbs up to anything if I remember of have times. I only use the account to follow a couple of local businesses. Facebook is welcome to all the income that account provides them.

If you linked it to your real phone number or any of your real friends who have you in their contacts (which they've most likely shared with Facebook), you're not fooling FB.

They would still be fooling FB and its clients (advertisers) with the garbage metadata.

> The social network hasn't had any interesting feature added to it in the last couple of years.

I actually found some great rugs (owners did not know what they had!) and furniture on the FB marketplace. Much better finds than on craigslist, and easier to verify that the seller is a human.

I'll second the notion of Facebook Marketplace being a good new feature. You can even pay the seller in-app, which is handy.

I've been surprised by how good Facebook's local classified ads implementation is, I've been having better success with it than Craigslist.

It's an odd platform. They have a lot of great features for outreach and discovery of local events and groups of people, leveraged by the strong network effect. For contact with local groups of people with similar interests, and for planning events, for group communication, it is an effective tool and one that has enriched my life in substantial ways.

The one thing that I really hate is the front page feed. It was probably a great business decision on their part to emphasize microblogging, as it definitely increased engagement in the platform. It also turned everyone into memelords who just re-share funny cat pictures, pyramid schemes and incendiary political propaganda. I tried just filtering that out with the "see fewer posts like this", but I turns out that people just don't really post anything but image macros and articles anymore.

> I've been surprised by how good Facebook's local classified ads implementation is, I've been having better success with it than Craigslist.

If you've tried it, how do you think Facebook's classifieds compare to NextDoor's classifieds?


Craigslist was tainted by the unsavory element of prostitution and stolen goods and isn’t a resource that I seek out. Facebook marketplaces seem like what eBay was in the 90s.

If I'm buying a used piece of furniture or whatever, I don't give a shit about prostitution going on elsewhere on the site.

What's really hurt Craigslist is all the scammers. You can't post anything of value on there without some scammer responding and telling you they're going to send you a cashier's check and have a personal assistant pick it up.

You don't have this problem at all on Facebook AFAICT. When someone responds to your ad on Facebook Marketplace, it's a real person who actually wants to buy your old junk.

The scammers aren’t there because of prostitution, both categories are there because Craigslist attracts unsavory parties and does little or nothing to police them.

No, that's not correct at all. The difference is that Craigslist has no real accounts. When you get a response to your CL ad, even if the responder has a CL account, you don't see this, you just get a text message or phone call or email. With FB, everything is through the site because of the way it's centralized, and you can see the account and full name of the person who's contacting you. On CL, it's trivial for scammers to respond to ads with automated programs, but on FB they'd have to create a real-looking fake account in your area, complete with pictures, some kind of history, etc., which is a far greater undertaking.

In short, the formats of the sites make all the difference. CL was created to preserve anonymity and not be a centralized social network, but that feature is also its undoing because it facilitates scamming.

Craigslist was tainted by the unsavory element of prostitution and stolen goods and isn’t a resource that I seek out.

IME, Facebook Marketplace is far from free of scams and stolen merchandise. That's why some people call it Fencebook.

>IME, Facebook Marketplace is far from free of scams and stolen merchandise. That's why some people call it Fencebook.

Thats not a new problem though, is it? I dare you to buy used car parts on ebay.


Slightly pedantic but Facebook Marketplace was launched in 2016 so the point could still stand.

The point doesn't still stand, but I'll save you all the googling: FB launched Watch on August 9, 2017. You could also say "only in the last year" and it'd be easy to find something else with 2 minutes of googling.

He said interesting feature.

Relax dear facebook employee, go treat yourself to a burrito at Teddy's or something from the Sweet Shop.

I thought FB was integrating their messaging platforms? That seemed to make all the news rounds a month ago.

[0] https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/25/technology/facebook-insta...

[1] https://mashable.com/article/mark-zuckerberg-speaks-on-whats...

Integrating the backends of the messaging systems, not the frontends. There will still be separate apps called "Messenger," "Whatsapp," "Instagram," etc., but they'll just be different fixtures set on top of identical plumbing.

This approach opens up exciting new opportunities for market segmentation via badge engineering: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Badge_engineering

... in much the same way that Ford (say) could design one car and then sell it to very different audiences as the Ford Taurus, Mercury Sable, and Lincoln Continental.

I don’t disagree, but there seemed to be a lot of a publicity around a backend tech change, and to me, it is that publicity that undoes the whole idea of keeping businesses separated. As a side example, everyone knows that Coke makes Diet Coke, but many don’t know that they make Sprite. The Sprite model seems to be a better approach than FB’s new Diet Coke approach.

When I read that I immediately thought it was a bad decision on Facebook's part.

With all the negative press FB has been receiving, it would seem wise to dissociate Whatsapp and Instagram from FB in the minds of the public.

Integrating the _backend_ but from the user perspective they remain three distinct brands.

> It's becoming boring and boring, so that's why I believe people are leaving

Email hasn't had any new features added in decades, and people still use it.

For me, Facebook is a tool. I use it to organise events and groups, and communicate with people.

There's no other tool that works as well. I can have all my messages, groups, and events in one place. Almost everyone I know uses Facebook as well, so it's centralised.

Speaking of event management, one very useful feature that Facebook has added recently is integrated payments for events. You can set up a Facebook event that has tickets, and people can purchase and pay for tickets through FB without having to go to the external ticket sales platform (moshtix, eventbrite etc.). I'm not sure if you can do ticketing directly through Facebook or if you need an external service, I haven't set up any events with tickets. Anyway, it's a very useful feature as it saves me having to sign up for different ticket platforms.

You may be missing a whole bunch of people like me who refuse to use facebook. And you'll just never know how many. If there's an event that is solely organized through facebook, I just don't go. If that means I miss out, I miss out.

I know exactly how many of my friends don't use Facebook, because I specifically remember which ones they are, so I can message them separately.

It's inconvenient for me, but I'm happy enough to accomodate them.

I read your post as you were some sort of event planner or something, not that you were using it in a personal group of friends. Please forgive the misunderstanding. I see a lot of groups/businesses that use facebook exclusively to communicate and organize events (like the local paintball field) and they are missing out on some people (I have no idea how to quantify how many). I'm sure they're reaching more people now (using facebook) than they were using whatever old method they were using.

Yeah, I'm in the same boat, but it's easy for me because I'm thoroughly unlikable and have few friends anyway.

At least my email doesn't have constant security issues and controversial practices.

Instagram is almost unusable due to the ads. Every 3 or 4 posts you see an ad. The only way Instagram isn't obnoxious is on the desktop, in a browser, with an ad-blocker installed.

I love WhatsApp, but they haven't found good ways to monetize it yet and one of these days they'll ruin it.

> but they haven't found good ways to monetize it yet and one of these days they'll ruin it.

What I think is ad supportted _anything_ turns to crap eventually. It's a toxic business model.

One feature (limitation) of Instagram is that you can't include clickable links in a post message. So if you're running a business or are a personality of interest, you might share something that your followers might actually care to look into in more depth off-platform.

But then you have to tell them to check your profile for your one allowed link, go to your site, search for the product/blog/video - or you pay for an ad with links enabled.

I found the instagram app to be unusable as you describe, but https://www.instagram.com works fine on my phone using firefox with an adblocker.

Interestingly enough, direct messaging is only available in app. A workaround had to be created by an ex-Instagram employee.

I guess that explains why I don't think of Instagram as a messaging service. What is the workaround?

> It's becoming boring

Unless Facebook figures out a way to address this, it's the start of a death spiral. The only thing that makes Facebook interesting is the people it can connect you to. If a few of them leave, the place becomes a little more boring than it used to be... which leads a few more of them to get bored and leave, which makes the place a little more boring... which leads more people to get bored and leave, etc. What started as a few snowflakes turns into an avalanche.

It's kind of the photo-negative version of the positive feedback loop Facebook enjoyed on its way up. Back then, each new person who joined created an additional incentive for other people to join, which gave them tremendous upward velocity. But the same dynamic running in reverse could send them downward just as quickly.

I've always wondered that, and is it an inherent 'flaw' with social media platforms, and FB just got so big that the coming decline will be just as catastrophic as MySpace and Friendster, but from a much greater height?

FB has obviously made very very smart acquisitions in WhatsApp and Instagram. I get the feeling these were primarily made because of the excellent data they had through their VPN app tracking service (as you could see the hypergrowth in real time and know exactly who to pick and how aggressively to go after). I'm sure they have or are working very hard on some alternative to this (maybe buy metadata off ISPs or become a network/transit carrier in their own right so they can see the IPs where stuff is going?).

But I do wonder if all social networks just are fads. You have a problem that as the network gets bigger, it starts becoming less interesting to you. Your social circles start overlapping (you don't want to post anything because it may offend someone, coworkers, grandparents, children), which stops everyone posting, which causes the whole thing to grind to a halt and become less interesting.

this happens to MMO servers too, I used to play the game DOFUS years ago and it was one of my favorite places on the internet when first started but then people left the game as they grew up and it was gradually taken over by bots and scammers until it got merged with another server

> It's becoming boring and boring, so that's why I believe people are leaving.

I'm not much of a user myself, but among my friends that use it heavily I've noted a number of complaints that it has gotten HARDER to use for their primary use: keeping up with friends.

Their issue isn't that FB has become stale or boring, but that it has actively LOST ground relative to their purpose.

Fb needs you to be able to filter the news feed.

> Instagram and WhatsApp are running strong with barely no competition

You're not wrong, but I find it a bit frustrating how much resistance I get whenever I try and suggest using Signal instead of Whatsapp. As far as I can tell, it has pretty much all the features of Whatsapp that I use, without all the spying.

No one wants to install ANOTHER app just to talk to you. Most of us already have at least 3 messaging apps they use on a daily basis and probably a whole lot more they use on a weekly basis.

But why WhatsApp is one of those 3 and Signal is ANOTHER app? Not so long ago WhatsApp was ANOTHER. Now it's not. What changed?

I don't remember WhatsApp ever being ANOTHER. It was the first cross-platform messaging app I ever used.

Wikipedia says it was released in January 2009. Google Talk started in August 2005. For a GTalk user, it was "another".

GroupMe works fine

I think there's a lot of "chat app fatigue." I've personally had 5 or 6 on my phone in the past year and you'd have to drag me kicking and screaming into installing even one more of the damned things.

Signal work all right, but it doesn't feel very polished. Notifications are a bit wonky, and the unread message icon never shows up on the home screen icon.

Genuinely curious, how is WhatsApp spying? I thought they were encrypted? Are they not end to end encrypted like Keybase or signal?

They are end to end encrypted. There's apparently a lot of meta data (like the people one communicates with, etc.) that can still be accessed by Facebook.

It also nudges users to enable cloud backups which in practice means that everyone has them enabled (...which in practice means that all your messages are unencrypted in the other person's cloud storage.)

Oh no. I see

I'm having some pretty good success getting people to switch to Signal in my family. Keep up the good fight!

I would suggest LINE instead.

I deleted my personal account years ago when it became evident that Facebook was little more than a reprehensible consumer surveillance utility, failing at the original value proposition of keeping in contact with friends.

I maintain a company page through an otherwise content-free account. As a corporate user I find Facebook slow and difficult to navigate.

All social networks die. They either fail to achieve critical mass, or they do and it turns out the mass was mostly composed of bovine scatology.

I realized that the only people I was in contact with were people I didn't really wanted to have contact with... Not all 'friendships' are worth upholding, very few are actually.

P.S.: never seen 'BS' expressed so eloquently...

> The social network hasn't had any interesting feature added to it in the last couple of years.

It should remove features, it has become a bloated abomination with no focus.

> It seems to me that the overall interest in Facebook is decreasing

Google Trends never lies. Some say that people have learned they don't have to search for Facebook, but the trend for Facebook follows the 'myspace curve of disengagement':


Note that people never type 'whatsapp' into a browser.

I think that social media is always going to be fickle. Google and search is a much better bet for the product being relevant in years to come.

Facebook is also a black hole. It is very rare that something written on Facebook is noteworthy enough to be shared outside of Facebook, here for instance.

I'm gonna try and coin the term: "The facebook parodox"

It's the problem where you have cross-generational social media infused with varying socio-economic levels you find that people online want to align with their tribe BUT ALSO want to be connected with you because of a physical connection.

Prior social networks were already "pre-aligned":

Myspace: Majority School Peers/Friends +-4 years Twitter: Industry networking/interest based

Facebook is "everything". I've hit this moment where I don't want to add "2nd degree" or "loose" connections on facebook because I don't think it will enhance our relationship, if anything it could drive a wedge between us. I see these people 1-2 a year, and in person, it's great, but online, it's horrible.

The only way I can get along with my friends and family is through the strict community guidelines of HN - we just can't handle the raw exposure of email or SMS, and the algorithmic preprocessing of Facebook makes it even worse. We plan parties by encoding times and dates in the whitespace of our posts about JS frameworks. I found out that my brother was getting married by decoding the carefully placed typos in a post of his about the housing crisis in SF. I know it sounds dystopian, but engagement-maximization strategies are ruining everything else, and direct exposure is simply untenable.

"Instagram and WhatsApp are running strong with barely no competition"

Telegram is getting popular in some countries where WhatsApp has been very dominant.

WhatsApp isn't at all free from controversy - it's had its share of "terror attack orchestrated by WhatsApp [and therefore it's some how to blame]" stories.

What's saved it, IMO, is the similar deluge of stories about political in-fighting taking place in WhatsApp groups.

The available conclusions to the reader of the two angles on it are: 1) politicians are organising terror attacks; 2) there is no causal relationship between WhatsApp and terror attacks

... one of which seems eminently more reasonable than the other; so thankfully that's where we are.

Amusingly it also came under fire from politicians in the opposite direction in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal: far from wanting to peek at end-to-end encrypted data (as called for whenever it's used by terror groups) they then wanted assurances that the data hadn't been snooped on or passed to third-parties!

From what I've seen, Instagram is nearly 60% marketing/bot activity and ads are ruining the experience.

I couldn't agree more and don't forget about "aggregator" type accounts that just steal original content from other users. I am predicting that Instagram will last another 2-3 years before people get tired of the non-stop ads and spam.

Note:- I have been off FB for the past 5 years or so.

As much as I hate FB and its abhorrent privacy policies, there are a very large population who do not care about privacy. I have some in my household who don't and FB's latest financial results prove it.

Everyone cares about privacy. They just aren't keenly aware that they're losing it. If you meet someone who doesn't care about privacy, ask them, can I borrow your phone and browse through your contacts, your conversations, and your pictures? Almost nobody will say yes unless they are very close to and intimate with you.

I think John Oliver did a pretty good job of framing the Snowden revelations in terms of "the NSA can see your penis". That's a good angle to make people care.

I don't think your analogy is very good. it's true that many (maybe even most) people have secrets that they would be embarrassed to share with their friends, family, or coworkers. if you asked them whether they would be okay with letting some stranger who they would never meet look through their phone, they might not do it for free, but I bet a lot of people would do it for $5-10.

That's not it. Offering people 10 bucks won't change that most say "no" when you ask them to borrow their phone and snoop through everything. Instead, it's that the whole loss of privacy is impersonalised. When you see my face, the face of someone who just asked to borrow your phone, when it's clear a person is going to be looking through it, that's when you say "no".

But when Facebook is harvesting data about you, it doesn't feel like a person is doing it. It feels like some abstract machine or algorithm or a faceless corporation is doing it. They even promise that humans aren't individually looking at your data. So people bank on that impersonality. The data may be collected, but who cares, nobody is actually really looking at it, right?

The truth is that people do often look at it, despite all the promises and everything. That's what you have to convey and that's what John Oliver was trying to establish with his angle.

Sure, when you ask people they tell you they care about Privacy. But their actions prove otherwise. And actions are what matter. It’s an unfortunate situation but that’s just the reality of it, like it or not. I don’t.

Agree on the lack of features front.

I actually preferred the simpler design FB had back in 2013 or so before the big redesign. After that everything seemed to get busier and louder. Usability took a hit after that IMO.

I've not used Facebook in any personal capacity but the same thing happened to Twitter, especially in the speed department. Twitter is so slow now that I don't use it.

Every once in a while some random journalist decides to cry foul about the demise of Google Reader and the death of the Open Web, but the 2013 redesigns of Twitter and Facebook seem more likely to be the cause, both in functionality and policies.

It was very clear cut at the time, Twitter did a 180° and left RSS along with lean HTML and got super slow and noisy (so much for adtech.) Facebook started changing its appearance compulsively and adding random crap. Then it removed itself from search engines for vendor-lock maxima.

I want to leave Facebook because it seems like a daily chore of unfollowing people who post shit stuff. Instagram is pretty much just personal photos, no stupid news articles, no "forwards from grandma" type stuff. I like seeing pictures of friends kids, new homes, vacations etc and they pretty much exist in exact duplicate across both properties. So why be on Facebook?

>The social network hasn't had any interesting feature added to it in the last couple of years.

If I recall, correctly, the last major feature (read: that had any fanfare) was when they added the ability to have hi-res photos (and more of them), which was timed with the release of the Transformers movie? So, yeah, it's been a hot minute since they did anything substantial.

I'm still hanging on, solely because it's the easiest way to see new pictures and updates from far flung family members.

I don't feel it's my place to ask them to share the pictures and updates another way, so I'm remain basically a read only FB user.

If there were a simple way to tee those things into some other feed, I'd leave FB as well.

To be fair they added dating. It hasn't been released in the US, but it's out in Thailand, Colombia and Canada.

maybe snapchat use case is so trivial and defined it doesn't need to change §

> Instagram and WhatsApp are running strong with barely no competition


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