I'm firmly in the "hate it but can't stop using it" camp. I've tried G+, and for a brief period a few of my friends tried it as well, but we switched back when it failed to reach critical mass. That's all Facebook has going for it, really, is the people using it; I'm sure most of us would switch to a better network if given the chance, but we won't do it unless a significant majority of our friends come along with us.
I don't like Facebook's approach to privacy, I absolutely hate how many permissions the Facebook app requires on my Android phone, but if I cut myself off of Facebook I'm losing out on a huge, huge percentage of social interaction with people who I know but am not particularly close to (which for most people is at least 80% of their friends list). Plus all the history I've amassed on Facebook since grade 7.
For better or worse, teens are stuck on Facebook for the time being, and unlike the move from MySpace, I don't see switching off of it happening any time soon. Sure, there's Twitter, Instagram, etc. which are also heavily used by my age group, but only as secondary networks - Facebook remains the definition of online social interaction.
EDIT: A few more thoughts:
An important part of it mentioned elsewhere in the thread is the fact that Facebook basically acts as a glorified address book/communications hub - if I want Chris to come to my party or add him to a group conversation about something or share a picture with him, all I need is his name. Not an email, not a phone number, just a name. It's pretty incredible if you think about it. Nothing else comes close.
Those relationships you think you're keeping alive by staying on Facebook are not worth keeping, generally. I graduated before social networks were a thing, but I distinctly remember having groups of friends at school who just didn't matter much outside of it. I'm 30 now and only keep in touch with two people from HS. They were my best friends at the time, and have largely stayed that way.
When I am trying to find someone to hang with, I just call or text them. There's no back and forth online with everyone watching our conversation, liking or commenting on it. There is no judgment.
My wife has almost everyone from high school added as friends on Facebook, but when it comes down to finding a real friend when she needs one, not a single one of them are there. Sure, they'll like a status or comment on something she writes, but none of it means anything.
It saddens me that people feel like they NEED these relationships that would naturally disintegrate without online networks.
>When I am trying to find someone to hang with, I just call or text them.
It saddens me that you need these relationships that would disintegrate without cellular communications technology.
Is it possible to have a Facebook account but just use it as a back-end? For instance, don't use the website or the app. But use Cue to pull events out onto your calendar, and Verbs to get Facebook chat, and so on?
Is there a way to use a constellation of apps that access Facebook info so that you effectively don't have to be on Facebook itself?
For me, using fb as a backend has proved to be really effective in eliminating a lot of the social 'noise' while not missing out on fb-only event invites.
Is there value in utilizing Facebook's databases and allowing them to track your connections, but having to manage your own front-end for everything?
One of my friends had a special list of half a dozen people he still sent emailed event invitations to. It's extra work, though, and most people stopped bothering. I decided that my hate for Facebook inc. was not strong enough to make me willing to inconvenience my friends, so I signed back up.
You mention privacy as a key factor -- I agree, but rationally a free social network must encourage sharing to stock its shelves with user information to provide to advertisers. In the other direction, there's App.net which can afford to enforce privacy because its income depends only on membership fees. (Unfortunately, membership fees inhibit the network effect.)
So what would make Facebook better? A better photo-sharing experience? An Events system which could interface with external apps? Or, does it go deeper? More users, I think, are recognizing that Facebook shows their friends only at their best, and are struggling to compare their lives to the glorified lives of their friends. Will the next social network open the door to deeper sharing, as opposed to more sharing? (Path comes to mind here...)
To clarify, I think Facebook (the app) itself is fantastic. The issue isn't the tech, it's the shady behavior by the company who develops it.
I was getting at the faults of the platform, though. It seems that people are satisfied with Facebook's groups, chat, and events features, but not the news feed/status updates portion of the site. I was wondering aloud if a social network like Path, which seeks to encourage more honest sharing as opposed to a greater volume of sharing, offered some insight into why people are becoming dissatisfied with Facebook.
People are always talking about how Facebook is selling your data. Is there any evidence for this? They'll use your data internally to target ads on behalf of advertisers, but do we know that they're actually giving the advertisers any information?
I could get cheap heating gas from a company 200 miles away, buy crap I didn't need including "magic" amulets and my favorite: get the exact degree that I already had from the exact university that I got it from.
Facebook knows I am an atheist with a college degree, the school I went to and what degree I got there and my current city, so they should have been able to filter all of those out. None of that information was tricked out of me, btw, I added it all myself.
Oh and the rest of the ads were 90% shitty dating sites (because, I suspect, that good dating sites don't need to advertise) more than half of which were obvious scams (again, I have a college STEM degree, don't show me the stuff that hopes to just get stupid people to sign up).
Facebook does allow you to opt out of any given add or all ads from that company but they don't even allow you to opt out of ads for a particular group.
So yeah, I hope Facebook is selling the information because I have no idea what else the use it for.
On the up side, I sometimes have a chat with a random friend I met on my travels, but that in itself is not worth being sucked into the facebook machine, which is basically treading social water.
I thought I read somewhere teens aren't using real names on FB ? What's the general usage ?
A spam-free email account where everyone can be reached by real name is really quite attractive.
Here's an old article mentionning this fake name trend: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/oct/02/facebook-child...
I am not a teen anymore but I find this surprising because IRC, MSN was all the rage when I was younger and nickname was really the norm. Just like those firstname.lastname@example.org addresses.
I am a supporter of half-anonymous practices and I am surprised it's not more widespread than I believed.
And from http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2013/Teens-Social-Media-A... I can see fake names seem to be marginal, with people managing at least one real/official account.
This is the primary value proposition of Facebook for me, and why I continue to defend real-name policies. Not having to mess with a set of aliases is really quite convenient.
Also when a teen tells you that they hate something because there's too much drama.. it means they fuckin' love it. They CAN leave but they don't want to because Facebook is so effective at stoking their out-of-control hormones. With Instagram in the fold this is especially true. As for why everyone else is on Facebook? Well it's because everyone else is on Facebook. And how else are you going to see pictures from your out-of-the-country relatives or creep on your high-school crush. I think Facebook has reached enough critical mass to not have to worry about becoming irrelevant for quite some time. For the record I don't use Facebook much myself, other than to keep a reminder of when everyone's birthday is.
I think it's completely the opposite. It's not bringing your friends to a new network that's the hard part - it's bringing your data (mainly photos). Getting thousands of photos out of Facebook that are nicely tagged and commented on and into another network is impossible. Getting the photos out is possible but it's a lot of work. Switching IM networks is much easier than switching social networks which have so much data we value stored in them.
Another problem is that teenagers are constantly meeting new people. The default is not to ask for a phone number but for an add on Facebook. If you aren't on it you aren't going to be able to keep in touch with and develop a friendship with this new person you've just met.
I'm constantly surprised that people actually care about the commenting part; tagging I can sort of see the value in, but only from the perspective that Facebook becomes your main photo library. Granted I'm not the most sentimental kind of chap, but once uploaded photos have been commented on, liked, +1'd etc, how many people really care about that sort of thing? Presumably people have copies of photos they care about or are deeply personal.
Of course, maybe this is the part of me that always goes "Oh yeah, I do that, and that, and..." when I go to seminars on Autism rearing its head. I'm also somewhat bemused by people's film-era photo albums for the most part, so I guess there's that.
16-21 is like a personality black hole for most people. It's a time when you're super self-absorbed and you're living from moment to moment, literally changing every day. If I'm totally alone here then please ignore me, but once in a while I will run into a random picture of me when I was 17 or something and I can't help but think "who the fuck is this person".. and immediately want to bury that particular picture. Pictures with family are a different story, those I treasure immensely. But they are so few and far between, and certainly would not have been considered Facebook-worthy in my teens.
Couldnt disagree more. Teens are the most-dependent age group on fb's fake social interactions.
I am 32 and I could leave fb in a second. That is because I realize that im not being social by liking posts or commenting on photos or any of the other common flows. Thats not social! Plus there is not nearly the peer pressure at my age that there is for teenagers to do that type of stuff.
(i never used fb for photos though, which is a big lock-in. my comments are just regarding the social interactions)
If you're actually talking or communicating, via exchanges of comments or instant messages then I feel that's interaction.
this means that your non-tech savvy friends have an incentive to use it, just like the internet explorer.
"hey John, I want to chat with you over this internet thing"
John likes Jane and wants to talk to her but she is not comfortable with downloading and installing programs. She noticed that there is an app which name suggests that it is for messaging, she clicked the icon, answered the questions and created an account.
Now the tech savvy John has to create msn messenger account to talk to Jane. All the people missing from ICQ are on msn messenger now and those on ICQ can easily create a msn accout. At first both msn and ICQ run side by side but msn messenger has all the people from the ICQ while ICQ lacks many of the friends. Why bother to use ICQ? the starting sound is not good enough reason and the RAM is scarce resource for many. so, don't run ICQ all the time, only when you need it. Msn catches up with the features and people don't have reason to use ICQ anymore.
you can switch to some other network if you have somebody to interact there.
also, many hated ICQ. it had annoying spam, the messages you receive from people that are not on your list.
people can move away from facebook only if there emerges a network with a killer feature, builds up some core network of early adopters and the rest follows them because they know the people there.
I also think that it is relatively easy to find somebody's phone number once you do wish to call/text them. You can just ask a common friend or Facebook them from a throwaway.
I remember how quickly people stopped using IM and moved their entire online presence to Facebook, including the announcement and discussion of planned events.
As an IM user who never moved, it kinda sucked. :)
I guess you could say the same about the move from ICQ to Windows/MSN Messenger, though.
I have friends who post annoying stuff (blocked from feed) and friends who posted really inappropriate comments on my stuff (unfriended.)
Is there some part to teen usage that discourages blocking a friend's feed or unfriending someone?
Possibly, but for me I guess that seemed like losing a valuable news source unless it got really bad, which had happened.. Looking back though, deleting was probably too extreme, and I still use Twitter /and/ Instagram.
She later argues that Facebook became the network of choice among college-bound kids. Maybe that sort of person does want to maintain an extended network (dkulchenko's example is about internships, for instance).
So was is it true that teens are more able to switch, or not? Was it always wrong? Has it changed as Facebook ate the entire social networking universe? I would appreciate it if younger HN'ers weighed in.
Best description of Facebook I've ever read.
I have looked back only once since quitting Facebook three years ago. That was yesterday, when I met with old-time friends who suggested I should keep a page in order to get in more frequent contact with them.
I was in college when facebook was expanding through universities. It was great, and the experience and content on facebook mirrored college life.
When it expanded beyond college and added the news feed, I found myself using it less. College-me was not the person I was for my grandma. I didn't care about the political views of my parents' friend who I hadn't seen in 10 years.
And it wasn't just me - Every now and then I log in to facebook to see what old classmates have been up to, and a lot of them have become inactive like myself.
The article mentions teens liking instagram more - its has a purpose centered around photos, and that it.
Writing this, I kind of miss old facebook and its limited uses.
Single focus social networks like Instagram are great but most people I know that use them just share that stuff out to Facebook anyway.
According to the article, one 15-year-old girl said she "hated" it. Otherwise, the majority complained about adults, negative interactions and oversharing -- none of which really has anything to do with Facebook, but rather the specific friends they've added, or the concept of a social network in general.
That doesn't even begin to get into the privacy issues and the other irritating shit.
The only thing I really use facebook for is an address book with chat.
The facts are that Facebook's user count is growing around 20% year on year with extremely high engagement. So people aren't moving.
I'd rather support the magazine and view their silly ads. Plus, the mobile version stretches paragraphs across the width of the entire browser window, which is unreadable using the window size I normally use, and I'd prefer not to have to resize my window to read an article.
The problem is many, many sites identify the thing you are using as one of 2 devices: a "Desktop Computer" and a "Mobile/Tablet device".
24!? I actually laughed out loud, long, and lusty.
Any PHP post devolves into: "I hate PHP." and "Why do HNers hate PHP?"
Any Google post devolves into "I hate Google." and "Why do HNers hate Google?"
Any Apple post..
On and on and on.
1st day/time X is (+over the top adjectives) good / bad
2nd day/time X is actually bad / good
3rd day/time Why do people argue about whether is actually bad / good
4th date/time meta post about meta post
repeat the following week/month/year/etc.
Also, I thought the line about "everyone says Facebook is dying" was quite telling. The stats say otherwise, but people will believe what they want (or what the media tells them).
I doubt anyone will say that tobacco companies marketing to teenagers is a bad idea because they can't even buy the product yet. It ensures the long term profitability of the company.
I don't think the turnover from Facebook is currently high enough for "management", as it were, to care about the opinions of a few teenagers.
A large part of my high school class is on Twitter, but I can't stand to follow them. Most of them are blithering idiots, spewing incomplete, barely legible sentences about some stupid thing they've done.
I have tried to get people to use Path, but it hasn't caught. I see it as the replacement for Facebook. However, as other commenters have said, it would be impossible for Path to compete with Facebook because they don't have the sheer numbers of people that Facebook has. If I meet someone and want to continue communicating with them online, Facebook is the place to do that: I know that they're there.
This is the only complaint I hear from my friends. Nobody in my age group has ever mentioned ad targeting, and people with nosy adult "friends" know how to use privacy settings to hide from them. The only reason I've ever been given in person for quitting Facebook is the time-sink.
My point is that we don't want to "leave" to another social network. We want to stop using social networking. But we can't, because spam-free email by real name is powerful, locked in, and occasionally necessary.
Maybe I'm too far from high school but I can't picture a situation where you would have to use FB "constantly" even though you "hate it". It's not really explained in the article either, there's just some superficial quotes about "Drama" and "Adult presence".
I know adult's who say they hate facebook but maintain accounts but this equates to logging in for a couple minutes a couple times a week, liking some photos, maybe posting a few and then getting on with their day.
If I didn't use Facebook I wouldn't know what everyone is talking about. See also: reality TV.
Facebook certainly doesn't want to make leaving easy, but really, what else did we expect?
I'm one of those strange people who is perfectly happy on G+. I was 'friends' with a significantly larger number of people I knew in meatspace when I was on Facebook compared to G+, but they were people I had lost touch with for a reason (regardless if whether that was my fault or theirs). G+ has allowed me to follow and interact with a broader range of interesting people that I don't know personally or event tangentially, and so to me, that makes it a much more useful social network that Facebook ever was.