3/23/2009

Facebook Gets Worse and Worse

Recently, Facebook changed their whole look. The new version has been a resounding failure. As you can see from the photo to the left, the "new" Facebook posts dozens of announcements about "gift" apps that have nothing to do with your profile. If you have a friend to who sends one of these annoying "gifts" to 50 people you don't know, the new Facebook sends you 50 messages in your newsfeed about it.

Each morning I used to look forward to seeing updates from my friends on the east coast as they began their workday. Now, I can't find their updates in the pages and pages of "gift" app notices. I used to love getting updates when friends posted new photos. Now, I often miss them because by the time I get to Facebook it's been filled with 2 to 3 pages of someone sending "drinks" to people I don't know.

Now the stupid "games" that had made MySpace completely useless are beginning to show up on Facebook. In addition to Shamrocks, drinks, gifts, smiles, easter eggs, Cadbury eggs, easter bunnies, safari animals, fish, birds, mardi gras beads, flowers, plants, angels, prayers, hugs, candy, and snowballs - you can "play" games about being a mobster or you can "own your friends" or play "pirates" or other inane things. None of them are really "games" but rather just ways to serve ads where you click to "buy" stuff and then "challenge" someone with whatever you bought. In the meantime, it annoys everyone you know by telling them all about what you clicked on.

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...Image via CrunchBase

What's worse is that Facebook allows anyone and everyone to "create" applications. The ubiquitous "gifts" are popular but now creating quizzes is all the rage. Unfortunately, most of the people who create "quizzes" appear to be 14 and incapable of using the English language. You can be annoyed by people you know only vaguely letting you know that their "twin" is Lindsay Lohan or they should be "crushing" on Nick Jonas. You can find out what character in Twilight you're most like and at each point your results will be cheerily broadcast in almost incomprehensible English to everyone you know.

Once upon a time (two weeks ago) Facebook was fun and a great way to reconnect. I found my childhood friends and their mother on Facebook and after 30 years we've caught up and are staying in touch. I was able to keep up with my high school history teacher and old friend and even discuss her stopping by on her Summer trip for a visit.

Now, however, it's one annoyance after another. Your communications are broadcast to all even if they don't know the person to whom you're writing. Instead of saying "Buck wrote on Sandy's Wall!" It now lists what I wrote for everyone I know to see in their newsfeed - even if they have no clue who Sandy might be or care.

I'd really hope that Facebook would consider switching back, but I doubt it. They'll continue to go down the MySpace trail (the glittery "profiles" are now appearing) until they become passe and are replaced by a service that remembers we're there to reconnect and catch up with our friends and anything that gets in the way of that needs to stop.
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