We started out using facebook in college and loved having the security of only those with an edu address seeing our profiles. Then, facebook opened up to high schools and we stayed...even though we didn’t like it. We continued to progress through college and right before we would enter into the real world, facebook opened up to everyone. At the same time most of us were looking for jobs or hoping to go to grad school. We hated it, some left; others, like me, learned how to use permission and lock down their profiles. Why? Because we like being connected and knowing what is going on in other people’s lives. This is a pretty simple concept, or so I thought it was.
Today, we have gone through redesign after redesign, terms of agreement changes, and we learned how to use the new facebook. BUT then, they changed the “friends” page. Instead of being helpful and showing the user which of their friends had updated his or her profile, facebook now shows you who it thinks you should be connected too. Thus, removing a major premise for most of us being on facebook.
No, I do not want to connect with ex-boyfriends and I especially do not want to connect with ex-boyfriends new girlfriends (thank you for asking facebook). I want to see who got engaged, who is moving, who is going to a new school in the fall, who got a job where, and so on. In a time when our lives are rapidly changing, facebook was useful in staying updated on friends' lives. Now, facebook wants users to read 400+ profiles in-depth to see what has changed which is what they are forcing users to do now. I don't think so.
Sadly, sources are showing that facebook is still growing. Unique users are not going down. Will facebook listen if uniques are continuing to rise? I am doubtful.
I am not alone in the rant on facebook. Here are a few comments I found on twitter:
@nickb I like the fact that #Facebook is trying to improve their UI (see new Friends page), but it just keeps getting more complex + less usable...
@ricetopher @rachelreuben Haven't you heard? All the Kool Kids (tm) are moving to FriendFeed. Srsly, the new UI much more useful than New Facebook.
Here's hoping for the return of the premise of facebook.