I am planning to deactivate my Facebook account in a few days. I’ve already deleted all the mobile apps from my devices, shut off all notifications, removed access to all 3rd-party apps, etc. Twitter, Foursquare and Instagram will be where I expend my social networking energy. (Side note: can we find a better term than ‘social networking’ already???)
You might say, “Aha! Instagram is owned by Facebook!” if you assume I’m shutting it off for one of the following, commonly believed to be evil reasons:
I don’t mind that Facebook (or any other service I use a lot) has a lot of data about me that they want to use to make money, I find that to be an acceptable trade off as long as they don’t leak it and don’t use it to ruin the UX.
Baby and Kid Pictures
If you follow me on Twitter you’ve seen my jokes about this. Contrary to that, I do actually like my friends’ kids and enjoy being able to keep up with their lives from across the country. I will miss this.
So, why am I taking a Facebook hiatus?
Because their of their incessant desire to emphasize things I could not care less about at the expense of the things I do care about.
First off, recommendations. As if the whole concept of finding and friending people at this point is difficult. IF I WANTED TO BE FRIENDS WITH SOMEONE, I’D ALREADY BE FRIENDS WITH THEM. The mobile app wastes an incredible amount of space on this (~1/3 of the visible timeline at launch) and dismissing it is buggy. The web site also gives this too much attention for my liking and in both cases they’re foisting people upon me that I have implicitly told Facebook I do not care about BECAUSE I DID NOT FRIEND THEM.
Recommendations are the exact opposite kind of information that I want out of Facebook. What I want is the latest updates from my friends’ lives. Whatever algorithm they use to construct the timeline is horribly broken, frequently leaving out posts from MY OWN WIFE even though I’ve explicitly said show me all of her posts (a crazy setting to have to set to begin with). It’s near useless.
To accentuate its uselessness, now they’re injecting ‘Sponsored Likes’, because if a friend of mine likes something, obviously I must like it too! I’ve always hated ‘Likes’ as a concept (I had very few) and now Facebook is willing to sell the opportunity to annoy me about them to another company. These also take up significant space in the timeline (bigger than a lot of other types of entries) making it difficult (again) to see the content I actually care about.
And back to that mobile app, it’s a piece of you know what.
All of these horrible user experiences aren’t worth the marginal value I get out of the service otherwise. The stuff I post there is of very low quality and I’m much better served by the other aforementioned social networks. There’s likely a point in the future where if we have children I will be compelled to reactivate it. Until then, it’s one less piece of terrible software in my life. Sorry MN friends. Email me sometime.
(I own a small amount of Facebook stock. Yes, really.)