22. February 2011 · 3 comments · Categories: Techie · Tags:

I had no gripes with Facebook until now. I endured all the profile page changes; they were mostly superficial and not life-threatening. I survived the addition of Facebook Groups, and promptly removed myself from many that I was initially invited to. Even traipsed through all the friend groups, and used that to my advantage to selectively limit the information I disseminated through my posts and conversations. They really were doing nothing that I could not tolerate, being the free service that they are. But they finally tweaked one thing that is driving me insane.

They broke my news feed.

The one thing I was reliably using (and had control over) for in my Facebook account was my news feed. Numerous blocked applications, a handful of blocked friends, and a slew of individuals I selectively picked to see more from, Facebook threw it all out the window. I have no customizations any more. I only have two options now: see everyone, or see who Facebook wants me to see.

I really do mean it when I say I can only see who Facebook wants me to see. The option is “Friends and pages you interact with most,” but what if my most valued sources of information are not the ones I interact with most? The people I interact with most are usually the ones who are running an inane discussion of inside jokes and off-key pop culture slams at each other, but they typically are not the ones I am trying to follow most studiously. Those are my recreational friends; I see them on a regular basis. I do not need to follow their feeds. The friends with whom I’m separated by hundreds to thousands of miles,\ and rarely interact with except for choice moments, those are the ones I’m going to lose. I will be forced to (likely) unnecessarily interact with them in order to keep using the “selective” feed. They gave us that filter, and they took it all away, under the assumption that yes, Facebook, knows more about what I want than I do.

Or…I have to start mucking through the waste and muck that clutter my feed, completely overwhelmed by the unfettered ramblings of my dear (but sometimes unnecessarily verbose) friends. Which happens to appear to be what I shall have to do.

If you don’t see me responding to much on Facebook in the coming weeks, you’ll likely know why. TweetDeck for Android does a wonderful job of letting me deliver information to my Facebook wall. However, don’t expect to see me actively at that news feed page; I won’t find what I am looking for in it anymore.

3 Comments

  1. Hmmm, I’m not sure what you mean. I’m still able to choose to see all friends posts, but then specifically block which friends and applications I don’t want to see…it even kept all those apps and friends whose posts I don’t want to see saved.

    Reply

    • I probably did not make it as clear as I should have. I’m not looking to block >80% of my contacts. I appreciated how you were able to significantly enrich for the people you wanted to “see more of,” and it would occasionally bleed through the rest of you non-blocked contacts. Now, you’re completely unable to select who you would like to enrich for. So you’re left to forcibly interacting with them (or their page) to retain them in the conditioned news feed, or block substantial amount of other contacts to enrich your “complete” news feed to see those folks.

      Reply

  2. This is a legitimate complaint. I think Facebook is slowly losing the Facebook / Twitter war, and I think that’s why they’re so hot to buy Twitter. I predict that Facebook will eventually disintegrate into a post-craze boneyard of grandmas, people who use text abbreviations in unlimited typing fields, and FarmVille addicts. The new Twitter format expanded what you can perceive from your home view and took a page from Facebook’s playbook in giving you a little taste of everyone else’s business, and it seems like a much more vital and live source of information. In Twitter’s shadow Facebook is stale. As my “e-volution” continues my Twitter use increases and my Facebook use decreases. What you describe here only hastens the inevitable, in my opinion!

    Reply

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