Friday, 23 September 2011

Facebook's Facelift Has Gone All Wrong

I'm addicted to Facebook, this is common knowledge, but the latest batch of changes is sending even me up the bloody wall in paroxysms of apoplectic rage. The changes, which (as ever) you can't opt-out of, have turned our already botched feeds into the social media version of the Bloomberg TV channel. Information overload ahoy!

These changes have certainly angered a lot of people, and confused even more. This does happen every time Facebook changes in any way, but this time it seems that maybe the changes have been taken too far. The timeline was already a mess, but now it's pretty much unmanageable unless you mess about for hours putting people into lists.

The thing is, this current issue with Facebook is pretty much exactly what happened to Myspace before its bubble burst. It became too complicated, too confusing and too unpleasant to use, and thus people flocked elsewhere. Myspace started trying to put Facebook-style bells and whistles onto their established methods of communication, but the ship had already sailed and users left the site by the million.

Now we have Facebook apparently doing the same thing. The 'Lists' are basically FB's answer to Google+ circles (only far more irritating to manage), the 'Subscriptions' option is FB attempting to integrate their own version of Twitter, the live feed in the corner of the page basically looks like a TweetDeck feed, and on the whole the site is looking too busy while being incredibly hard to use now.

FB and sites of its ilk should be accessible by the millions of people who aren't particularly computer literate (or indeed give a toss about anything but staying in touch with their friends in a very direct manner), and not overwhelm the audience with information that people don't really need as part of their experience. The thing is, even though we're all complaining about it, we'll all still be using it. We need our fix, don't we? However, I do have a remedy for your distaste with the new Facebook layout:

Step One: -go to Google+

Step Two: -sign up

Step Three: -enjoy


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