June 23, 2010
I think Facebook is starting to get out of control from a usability perspective. This doesn’t mean it’s not a great platform and that it doesn’t have utility. But if the platform continues on its current path, the core system runs the risk of going sideways like its various predecessors: GeoCities, MySpace, etc. Maybe I’ll go in there to look for something or someone, but it won’t be a place I scroll through as part of a daily or semi-daily routine.
I wrote about this a year ago now, and while the site has some better tools to assign friends to groups, it doesn’t do any better job than it did a year ago about segregating information flow, either by group or by some kind of intelligence.
I don’t know why my home page, news feed, RSS feed, and iPhone app can’t easily show me posts from people I care about, but if it can’t do that soon enough, I will almost entirely stop using it. Can’t Facebook measure the strength of my connections? Can’t it at least put my wife’s posts at the top? My usage is already way down, and the trend is clear.
And I won’t really comment on Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s inane remark last week that “email is dead because young people don’t use it” other than to paraphrase two things I read on a discussion list I’m on: “Just checked, and you still need an email address to sign-up for a Facebook account,” and “Most teens don’t buy stocks so Wall Street has no future.” More entertaining analogies from Loren McDonald of Silverpop are listed here.