6 Facebook Features that are F*&#@d

Fat, Bloated Monster Facebook - The Anti-Social MediaFacebook is bloated.

Over the past few years, Facebook has been adding more and more features that make no sense in regards to how people actually use the social network. Additionally, while it keeps adding things, it doesn’t adjust or take away anything that isn’t being used or fix the crap that’s busted.

Here are 6 features that I think need to be heavily tweaked or just need to go. I’d rather be spending time talking about my friend’s cat than dealing with these useless features.

  1. Events - Events are like the appendix of Facebook. They’ve hung on from the early college days of Facebook, but now we all get so many invites from people who have no filters in place that Events are completely useless. Read Scott Stratten’s How We Are Killing Facebook to understand how useless this feature has become, and stop inviting me to see your crappy band playing halfway across the US.
  2. Notes - I’ve only seen notes used successfully by one person - Sarah Palin. I don’t know about you, but I typically don’t measure the success of a Facebook feature on the use of  half-term governor who was a failed vice-presidential candidate and now a reality TV star. Normal people aren’t using notes except for the occaissional meme every blue moon, and they just need to go away before I get another quiz asking what my top 25 albums are.
  3. New Photos Interface - The new Facebook photos effect is the most jarring effect I’ve ever seen on the site. Changing instantly from the cold and clinical white and blue to the black-like-my-soul interface, who thought this would be a good way to browse photos? Don’t they want us to actually be distracted by all the other things on Facebook?
  4. Groups - These things have been launched for months, and I’m only part of one that is actually posted to regularly, and that’s because it’s basically a place where people post jobs. Groups are another feature that sounds good, but no one actually uses because they don’t benefit people on a daily basis.
  5. Questions - Facebook Questions are like Yahoo! Answers and Quora got even dumber, and someone allowed brands to throw their stupid questions into the mix. I don’t know who was asking for this feature, but it is completely useless, and I don’t need AMC’s The Walking Dead asking me how I’d survive the Zombie Apocalypse.
  6. Posting as Pages - Last week, with the switch to the new Facebook Pages gave page admins the ability to post as a page on another public page. This is going to make Facebook marketing spam and badvertising central. I haven’t seen this happen yet, but I know it will be coming once the full switch to the new pages is turned on and some idiot realizes he can go post as Coca-Cola in a desperate attempt to get more fans.  On the bright side though, we’ll hopefully see more weird and crazy fuck ups as more pages start #gettingslizzerd.

What Facebook feature drives you nuts the most? Do you think they’ll drop any of these? Or will they linger on like the walking dead until we get another pointless, opt-out feature added on?

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34 Responses to “6 Facebook Features that are F*&#@d”

  1. Janet M. Kennedy February 17, 2011 at 9:43 am #

    Speak truth to power, Anti-Social!

    • Jay February 17, 2011 at 5:15 pm #

      I only speak in power truths.

  2. Chris Ferdinandi February 17, 2011 at 10:10 am #


    Great list, dude!

    1. Even when I was in college I hated Events. It was easier to just post an update and have people show up. Now that we all have 500 Facebook friends, though, that doesn’t really work…

    2. Notes… ugh.

    3. There’s not other way to say it: The new photo interface fucking sucks. The old one worked fine. If it ain’t broke…

    4. Say what you will about Groups, but I actually liked them a LOT better than Fan pages. Less noise in my feed, and they acted like a badge showing support for stuff I found cool or interesting. Pages are better for marketers, but not necessarily for the user.

    5. Questions? Really? Didn’t even know about this one!!

    6. Pretty much every single person who’s only half-assed about social media does stupid shit like you’ve predicted with Posting as Pages, so it’s only a matter of time. Can’t wait!


    • Jay February 17, 2011 at 5:17 pm #

      I think groups are pretty decent, I’ve just yet to be in one that I like or was compelling to me. Maybe people just hate me and don’t want me in their groups.

  3. marc February 17, 2011 at 10:21 am #

    But Jay, at the end is not what you have available in Facebook, but how you use it towards your friends, fans or potential customers.

    • Jay February 17, 2011 at 5:18 pm #

      I agree, but are these features necessary for me to connect with my friends?

  4. John Morrow February 17, 2011 at 10:21 am #

    I think that the problem is that Facebook is determined to expand and incorporate every social media meme that comes along - as per the Questions thing.

    I find myself using Facebook less and less - I check in once to twice a day to see if any of my actual RL friends has had anything interesting to say, but other than that it seems to be increasingly just a source of annoyance. Whether it is the spammy app invitations or the gag-worthy status updates about how 97% of us won’t repost our love for hamsters or whatever, it’s pissing me off. For the record, I love hamsters. So tasty.

    • Jay February 17, 2011 at 5:22 pm #

      Facebook wants to eat everyone and everything.

      It’s like Pac-Man, but without the 8-bit charm.

  5. Morgan February 17, 2011 at 10:47 am #

    I didn’t even know about Facebook Questions…where is that even located?

    I also have never seen the point of notes. Nobody ever reads or comments on them. Meh.

    I like the groups, though. They’ve actually been very effective for several clients of mine. They work especially well for groups of people that need to connect regularly, like realtors or people looking for houses to sell/buy, which is what one of my clients groups is for.

    I LOVE being able to post as my page. I’m sorry, but that is genius marketing and it has actually brought in a lot more ‘likes’ to my pages because of it.

    Events are good and bad. I wish I could decide which ones to subscribe to.

    The photos…are still kinda weird. I’m not sure how to feel about them. I’m adjusting, but they’re kind of the most jarring change on FB lately.

    You are very displeased with FB in general lately. :)

    • Pat Kent February 17, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

      I’m not sure how i feel about the photos either. I think they just made them take up more space so that they could put advertisements on them.

      • Jay February 17, 2011 at 5:26 pm #

        I thought that too, but I thought the older interface had more ads. The new interface only has one photo.

    • Jay February 17, 2011 at 5:24 pm #

      It’s easier to dislike Facebook when it constantly changes. Twitter is so stable and boring.

      • Jon-Erik Lido February 18, 2011 at 6:54 am #

        It’s weird- people hate change… Yet we all want the latest stuff.

        I haven’t reconciled that in my brain yet.

  6. Deb Ng February 17, 2011 at 11:09 am #

    I am not hearting the new photos thing at all. I actually thought I was hacked and redirected the first time I saw the gloomy black slideshow, which isn’t what I’d choose to show off my son’s Lego castle. In fact, the photos feature was probably the thing that needed the least amount of fixing, I think they just want to keep people in jobs so they look for things to tweak whether they need it or not.

    • Jay February 17, 2011 at 5:28 pm #

      I totally would have loved my Lego castle with the black background. I was such a twisted kid.

      Still, I think you might be right about the jobs thing. That would explain the constant changes with no real purpose.

  7. maggie February 17, 2011 at 11:29 am #

    I must be the only person who likes the new photos display format. Normally when I’m going through my news feed and see photos (that I want to look at) I open them in a new tab so I don’t lose my place in my news feed. So this format is displaying photos how I was viewing them anyway.

    I think Events are only useful when it’s used among [actual] friends who actually hang out with each other. Otherwise, annoying spam.

    • Jay February 17, 2011 at 5:29 pm #

      Well, at least someone likes the new photos display. Maybe it’s just the rest of us who are crazy.

  8. Rand February 17, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

    I like Events! I recently posted an event on FB called the Nothing Party. It was going to take place ‘no where’, was created by ‘Nobody’ with the message “Nobody please come! And don’t invite your friends… It was the best party I never went to!

    • Jay February 17, 2011 at 5:30 pm #

      Sounds like a good time for my imaginary friend.

  9. Pat Kent February 17, 2011 at 1:33 pm #

    You sir, have drawn an excellent Facebook Monster. Hats off to you. In terms of Facebook groups, this is a feature I thought i would use but inevitably didn’t. I think the problem stems from the fact that EVERYONE you know is on Facebook. There is a little bit of a fear that someone is going to feel left out if you create a group and don’t invite them.

    • Pat Kent February 17, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

      Also, I’m taking the “groups” standpoint for someone who uses Facebook for personal usage, not business.

    • Jay February 17, 2011 at 5:32 pm #

      Actually, that’s the rushed version of the monster. The original had manboobs.

  10. Todd Liss February 17, 2011 at 2:14 pm #

    Absolutely can’t stand the new messages. I am so upset that I switched. I hate how messages get buried with random “hi’s” that people send you on chat. Differentiate the two Facebook!

    • Jay February 17, 2011 at 5:33 pm #

      Well, it was only a matter of time before they forced you to switch.

      Still, I’m not a fan of the new messages either. There are a few features I like, but mostly, it’s a big “meh.”

  11. Shelly Kramer February 17, 2011 at 3:25 pm #

    I, too, was a skeptic about FB groups but am now a HUGE fan. I’ve participated actively in 2-3 for the last few months and it has been beyond amazing. Really smart people, some of whom I knew in advance of participating in the group and many of whom I didn’t. Great interaction, learning, resource sharing. Would have never believed this would be something that I was swooning over, but I’m a convert. Facebook groups, if done right, can totally rock.

    Everything else you mentioned sucks.

    Great job.


    • Jay February 17, 2011 at 5:34 pm #

      See, I’m just in the wrong groups. I’m the perpetual outcast.

  12. Kelly OKeefe February 17, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

    I was a hater when you said Events need to go. I use events to organize friends for nights out. BUt then I realized I do get TONS of event notices from friends who have bands or shows that are nowhere near where I live. So I jumped on your bandwagon and have to agree EVents can go. Evite worked well before FB and can still work.

    I also agree with your comments about the new photo interface.

    Keep hating because I love reading your posts.

  13. Jay February 17, 2011 at 5:46 pm #

    I’ll keep up the hate until my little black heart stops beating.

  14. GSP February 17, 2011 at 7:59 pm #

    The natural desire of any product owner who is #1 in the marketplace is to expand that product to become even more successful and stay ahead of the competition. Of course they’re super-successful in the first place only because they did one or two things spectacularly well.

    So the natural lifecycle of any successful market-leading company is to bloat themselves out of relevance… It happened with Microsoft, AOL, Myspace and countless others before Facebook.

    • Jay February 17, 2011 at 9:20 pm #

      So, I should be requesting more features?

      • GSP February 18, 2011 at 8:44 am #

        Yep, every bandwagon that Facebook makes a half-assed jump onto is a step towards the day when a smaller, nimbler competitor will come up and herd the proles away to the Next Big Thing (as FB did to MySpace).

        Thought of another example: Yahoo… great search engine once upon a time, now who knows what the hell they are (other than irrelevant). General Motors and Sears do a fine job of being bloated, directionless zombie companies in the real world.

  15. Kären Engelbrecht February 17, 2011 at 8:16 pm #

    Agree! Assuming that Events and Groups fall into the “need tweaking” category. Both features are still useful for keeping up with community groups, local bands, and one’s RL social events - especially now that MySpace and Evite are as good as dead. Groups in particular can work really well as an extension of RL community organizations, but could seriously benefit from some of the Page admin functionality.

    The other ‘feature’ that can die a horrible fiery death is the segregation of Updates in the inbox as it renders messages from Groups/Pages effectively invisible, especially on mobile apps.

    • Jay February 17, 2011 at 9:23 pm #

      Yeah, Events need some major overhauling. Groups maybe not so much. I might not be using them enough.

      And I agree on the mobile thing. I use an iPhone, and the iPhone Facebook app is OK, but it’s functionality is seriously limited compared to real thing.

  16. Amy G. H. February 18, 2011 at 8:53 am #

    I have to defend the events feature. I use this feature a lot and I love it when local restaurants post events because it’s a super-easy way for me to get content for my blog. When I am looking for something to write about, I scan my events list and pick one.

    I like to travel, so I do not mind being invited to events that are far away. Who knows? I might decide to pack up my bags and take a road trip!

    The Groups feature could use some improvement, but I use that as well. My friends started a group so if I want to post something that will only pertain to them, I can post it on the group and I know they will all see it.

    The other features mentioned here, I could probably do without, especially notes. If I want to write something longer than a status, I will post on my Livejournal. Yes, I still have a Livejournal. Feel free to mock me!

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