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If you are constantly getting spammed by a fan page that you explicitly liked or followed, then the appropriate answer is to unlike or unfollow it. There's no reason to curate information that you wanted to get to begin with.

What if Twitter implemented something like this where certain tweets from a person you are following do not appear? How would that feel?

This strikes me totally as a money play and not for the user.




> There's no reason to curate information that you wanted to get to begin with.

But are you sure users actually wanted that information? I strongly believe this assumption is false.

If I "like" something, I want to express that I like it. I want my friends to know it. It's not a "subscribe" button, it's a "like" button, and contrary to what people in spam^H^H^H^Had business may believe, people actually attach meaning to what is written. It's not a #:G4202 button, it's a "like" button. If you call it "follow", you get a different meaning and different expectations.

> What if Twitter implemented something like this where certain tweets from a person you are following do not appear? How would that feel?

Twitter is not Facebook. Twitter is about following people. Facebook is about showing people (my friends) what I like (and not necessarily caring what it has to say).

I, for one, welcome these new changes and want to repeat by GP: good riddance!

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I think you've touched on the base problem of both sides of the argument -- it's a UX issue.

Facebook has given too much power to the 'like' button. There should be a different 'follow' or 'subscribe' button. If you subscribe to a page, you would expect to always get updates from it.

I only subscribed to facebook to be able to watch some dev videos. As I slowly became more used to it, I wanted to know how to get updates from the company page I work for. When I asked how to do this and was told to 'like' the company, that made no sense to me. What if I don't actually "like" something, but I still want to watch its activity?

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Yes..this is exactly what I mean. If you don't want to be spammed from liking something, then don't allow the brands to reach out to users who liked their products. You can only do this with "follow."

By this definition, brands won't tell people to "like" their pages anymore, they will just say "follow" them. FB blurred the links and now no one knows what "like" or "follow" will do.

I can follow a brand and still not get all the information from that brand. This is ridiculous.

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> Facebook has given too much power to the 'like' button. There should be a different 'follow' or 'subscribe' button.

Oh yes, please. I want to see the epic torrent of butthurt from "Brands" like Mark Cuban when that happens and they find that less than 10% of their "fans" are actually interested in their "messages" so their reach is far smaller than now.

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I agree with everything you said, but as a practical matter I wanted to point out that it is possible on Facebook to like something and then "hide" it from your newsfeed. This allows you to register your like without all the spam. This is what I did with "Barack Obama", because I do support him and wanted to publically acknowledge that, but I don't need to see three captioned photos of him per day.

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That doesn't stop your likes resulting in targetted advertising to your contacts (depending on their how-closely-they-follow-you settings, presumably).

For instance I sometimes see "sponsored links" of the form "<sister-in-law's-name> likes <retail-outlet>, here is an offer that they have on at the moment" - I've never liked <retail-outlet> on facebook let along done that and subscribed to see absolutely all posts from them.

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Yeah you're probably right about that. I think they can each individually hide those though, right? In any case, I agree that the UI for this is terrible and that's probably by design to make it less likely that the masses will hide everything.

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Well, that's not the way the like button works. The like button is the "follow and get updates" button. Like it or not (heh) that's the use of the button, and I believe people get this.

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I didn't. It was a complete surprise to me when I realized it. And then I unliked everything.

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When I look at the button, I see the word "Like", not the words "follow and get updates". Why should anyone assume something else that what is written on the button?

BTW. it's my anecdote vs. your anecdote; I wonder if there are any studies on the topic of how people perceive likes.

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I don't think the answer is so binary. Just because you like a product/company/person's page does not mean that you always want to hear from that page. The EdgeRank algorithm is supposed to rank social response and especially your friend's engagement in determining the importance of a post. However, there are clearly cases where the poster would want to attribute increased importance to that post and make sure that more people than usual see it (e.g. an important announcement). That is what Facebook is charging for: the ability to get around its algorithm. I think the problem in the past year for many brands is that Facebook has not had this feature, and the fact that you can pay for it is probably reassuring to many companies because it means they have a guaranteed channel if they need it. The alternative: people get annoyed with liking pages because they are too noisy and start unliking everything and you ruin the channel.

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For those who don't know what EdgeRank is, start with this primer: http://edgerank.net/

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However as you can see from that screenshot, a brand can target fans and friends of fans, so even if you don't like it a brand, you can see see the ad if your friend does

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Yes, but it as the screenshot says, it costs a lot to just reach your fans. Reaching friends of fans is a different issue.

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