Facebook: The Good, Bad & Ugly

As one of the five sites most people use to experience the internet, Facebook has really strayed from its original purpose. Now, I’m all for a company making money; as a minuscule shareholder, I applaud that, but on the flip side, it’s made using Facebook, at least for me, pretty excruciating.

The Bad: The News Feed

I have 402 friends as of this writing. A modest amount, I’m thinking; I’ll bet there are plenty more out there with a lot more than me. I find that to let me know what my friends are doing; it’s pretty damn useless now. Here are my main issues with the news feed:

  1. It feels like it’s more full of sponsored posts than actual items from my friends. My wife says it feels like about 20-30% of her feed is sponsored posts; to me, it feels like 50%
  2. I can’t tell you how many times I open up the app on my iPad and see something interesting immediately from one of my friends for about a split second. It then immediately updates, and I lose that post, having to dig and dig through tons of other updates and attempt to find it again.
  3. Some of my friends are really prolific – others not so much. I seem to get so much more from prolific friends than anyone else. Please, Facebook, implement some algo that allows me to tone down some people and amplify others. I know I can mute people, but with all of the smarts back there, you’d think they’d be able to do one thing at least: put anything from your significant other (as indicated by you being in a relationship with) front and center. I can’t remember the number of times my wife asked me, “did you see that thing I sent you on Facebook?” and I missed it because of all the other junk.
  4. IMHO, the news feed is the core of FB. It needs to be awesome. And at the moment, it isn’t

The Good: Chat

I’ve used the messaging on FB very effectively. My wife uses it to keep in touch with her friends from all over. That’s one thing that works very well.

The Ugly: Ads

OK, so like I said, I can’t fault them for trying to make money, but the ads are terribly targeted: I get ads for single things even though I plainly state that I’m married, plus I get all sorts of ads for games (which I never play), so I can’t imagine why they think I might start. I understand that some of this is the advertiser picking an audience, but FB still needs to have some overrides to continue to provide me with RELEVANT ads. I’m sure that they could improve their click-through rate and revenues and make their customers and users much happier if they targeted them better. It’s not like it’s impossible, Google has been doing much better than this for a while, and they know way less about me than FB does. Please, FB, leverage all of that great data to give me ads that I can’t help but click on, not reams and reams of irrelevant crap.

Got your own story of Facebook love, hate, or indifference? Let me know below…