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.
How can you be sure of that if you didn't see it?
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.
> 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.
So any service that feels slightly abusive gets its own email like that, and then ignored usually.
I don’t have an account so can’t check and the instructions for doing it all seem dated.
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.
Never knew that was an option, but shutting it down just seems logical when you see the aggressive lock-in they are doing.
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'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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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 )
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.
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.
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?
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.
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...
That is: LinkedIn users will stop being users.
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 don't use it for anything other than to have my CV there and messaging with recruiters, though.
Read the first three words (my highlight) and there's the answer
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.
Those useless notifications made the whole product useless for me.
Or make two accounts and my main one only follow positive/uplifting/motivational accounts.
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.
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.
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.
Not that I've used Facebook much!
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 ), 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.
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.
Related: what's the best for one part of the system, may not be the best for the entire system.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Every single post I make "Performs better than 95% of posts on my page" ... "Click here to boost NOW!".
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.
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.
Could this be mixed w people unliking and hence the number doesn't change?
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
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.
There is the principal of who owns the device... But that is a slightly different topic.
Do it too often and with too much urgency, and eventually you will be utterly ignored.
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!).
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)
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
On the other hand, Instagram is plain simple and understandable.
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?
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.
The problem really is lack of choice.
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.
Assume this in every situation and you'll never be disappointed ;)
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).
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.
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".
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"
I consider #2 as injected. Basically, any content that was not directly posted by a "friend" to share to their network.
>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.
Contrast this with something like Google Maps: It's a privacy nightmare too, but it's also incredibly useful.
If that tracking is being performed on people who have not given informed consent, then it is very bad.
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".
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 :(
Which means you have Facebook in a different costume.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
And one of my goals for 2019 is to shut that group down and move the conversation into our app.
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.
So this must be your assessment of twitter as well? Same current observation, Same predicted outcome?
I sincerely hope so!
In a way, it would be like shadowbanning, but more open.
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 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 have to think people are deriving some value from it, but I cannot imagine what it is.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 think younger folks have migrated to Instagram, snapchat, etc. where they actually post/use the platform.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It's inconvenient for me, but I'm happy enough to accomodate them.
I love WhatsApp, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
P.S.: never seen 'BS' expressed so eloquently...
It should remove features, it has become a bloated abomination with no focus.
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.
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.
Telegram is getting popular in some countries where WhatsApp has been very dominant.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.