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Is Facebook Getting Less User-Friendly?

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Is Facebook Getting Less User-Friendly?
[ Social Media]

Facebook is starting to do a lot more things to cater to businesses, but is it becoming less user-friendly in the process? Now that the company is public, it’s going to have to keep investors happy, and that means making money – hence all of the advertising-related changes we’re seeing. Last week, Facebook stock hit its lowest point so far, which CEO Mark Zuckerberg has apparently found to be quite painful. I wonder what additional monetization strategies are in store for Facebook’s future.

When Facebook released its first earnings report last month, it announced that it it has 955 million active users, with 552 of them using Facebook on a daily basis. Facebook’s great challenge will be to keep those numbers growing, rather than slipping, while also finding more ways to make money off of them. Hopefully, for users’ sake, they’ll be able to do it in ways that aren’t annoying.

Do you think Facebook is getting less user-friendly, or is it as good as ever? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Facebook is currently testing a feature that could turn off a lot of users – promoted posts in the News Feed from pages that you don’t “like” and that not even your friends “like”. If this moves beyond the testing phase, you’ll start seeing more ads in your News Feed, and for things that you quite possibly have no interest in or even a social connection to.

“Starting soon, we are beginning a very small test that will allow marketers to promote page posts to people beyond their fans in the news feed,” Facebook is quoted as saying.

A WebProNews reader commented on the story, “I am finding myself more an more annoyed with facebook lately. I barely ever use it anymore. This is just one more reason for me to never log in again.”

We recently reported on another promoted posts-related feature that had some users upset. This was a type of post that appears in the News Feed, and shows you when one or more of your friends “likes” a certain page, and shows a recent post from that page. Depending on the post, these friends may not always be pleased with the display.

At the time, ZDNet shared the perfect example:

Just because your friends “liked” drugstore.com, does not necessarily mean that they want to be used to help peddle lube.

Considering the recent Chick-fil-A controversy, it’s not hard to imagine people who may have enjoyed eating the restaurant’s sandwiches in the past and “liked” their Facebook page, only to have Facebook saying that they “like” it, while displaying a “recent post” that he or she politically disagrees with. Chick-fil-A, by the way, became one of the fastest-growing social brands on Facebook following that whole thing.

These are just a couple of examples of where we’re seeing Facebook seemingly putting business interests above users’.

Some users simply aren’t happy with the direction Facebook’s interface is going. The company is still in the process of getting the Timeline pushed out to all users, and as this continues, there is still a fair amount of bitter reaction to the major design changes. That’s not to say there aren’t plenty of users who actually prefer the timeline, but some people just flat out don’t like it. It doesn’t really matter as far as Facebook is concerned, however. All users should have the Timeline by sometime this fall, the company recently told us.

Some users are just plain bored. A couple months ago, Reuters and Ipsos ran a poll finding that 34% of users (more than a third of respondents) find Facebook boring. These users are spending less time on Facebook than six months prior. Given that the poll itself is over two months old, I wonder how the numbers have trended in the meantime. According to Reuters’ these users complained that Facebook is either “boring,” “not relevant,” or “not useful”.

Luckily, third parties are continuing to find ways to keep a lot of Facebook users interested. It’s a good thing Facebook isn’t treating developers the way Twitter is. The Timeline, despite those who hate it, caters to this quite nicely. On the other hand, Facebook apps have always annoyed some users in one way or another. It wasn’t all that long ago when you could hardly get on the site without seeing a plethora of updates about what people were doing on Farmville.

Of course, when you have close to a billion active users, you’re never going to please everyone. There’s always someone longing for the days before Facebook even opened up beyond school campuses.

Do you think Facebook is moving in the right direction? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Is Facebook Getting Less User-Friendly?
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  • Marcia

    Facebook´s apps are abusive! so annoying all that people sending invites.

  • Ross

    Facebook will be old hat within 3 yrs, the reason for it’s popularity was that it was user friendly. Facebook has abused that user friendly base, gone public, made a load of money and now does not have a product that it’s users want. End result, the start of the demise of Facebook.

  • http://optinlearningcenter.com terry Houghland

    If a person uses facebook to touch base with people they know why would they want to read advertisements? Facebook thinks it is a big yellow pages with people comments thrown in.

  • Dan Kauffman

    The Sample FB posts above echo my sentiments exactly I HATE that new Timeline and find myself going to my FB page a whole lot less frequently since they shafted me with it

  • jk ungar

    I hate all the advertisements. And when people “like” stuff there are more ads. This is ridiculous, and I will certainly never “like” anything again.

  • http://www.popculturez.com Taylor Mitchell

    Nice one Thanks for sharing!

  • Sue

    YES!! the new timeline sucks and I don’t want it. not sure how to prevent that.

  • http://www.hezbollahghanoon.com mohammad

    Content was very interesting

  • Mark D

    When the customer is not happy they will leave. It`s a good ideas to keep the customers happy and not screw with things just for the purpose of making more money to appease the stockholders. Please the customers first or you run the risk that they`ll leave and not come back. I for one do not want to see ads in my timeline.

  • Anonomys

    I made my kids close their account and mine is coming down also. The privacy issues stink, email isn’t quite so bad but fb is ridiculous. With all the new laws in place fb is a stalker haven and to monitor folks chat is just taking away another privacy and should only be done when a complaint from the client is made. Also, I was changed to “timeline” we all know why time line was invented, we’re not stupid. They can go gather their “data” to “profile” someone else but they can just leave my family out of it.

  • Anonomys

    In my opinion since we’ve completely lost any right to privacy what so ever over the net, the only two folks that will benefit from facebook is Facebook’s Advertising Dept, Law Enforcement the I R S and the Fed. Govt.

    It is a total and complete pry into your every moment of your life that you are willing to put out there. Nothing is private, Nothing is ever deleted really. It’s just a way to completely profile you down to your thoughts, likes, dislikes, comments.

    Scares the shit out of me. What, is Minority Report next?

    I’ve read folks posts here, and I agree. Eventually it will shut down, and then the gov’t will have years of automatic profiling on you all thanks to you the unsuspecting customer, just thinking you have a comfortable place to mingle with your family and friends and speak your real mind. Oh, you can’t do that on fb anymore, you may wind up in jail either now for what you are saying … or in the future when the new Provo UT facility opens that will read any and every facet of your life that’s touched an electronic keyboard and graced the net. That’s right folks! O’s in control all the way, since your freedom is now gone, just sit back and wait for your next set of instructions, follow them nicely or be put away.

    As he said on TV at the DNC, He’s going “Forward” and it won’t be “Easy”. Learn to listen. That’s what it’s all about. Listening and responding in the right manner.

    Ahhh, go back to sleep folks, it’ll all be over with soon.

  • http://yahoo john reynolds

    facebook is so user unfriendly it is unusably. i don’t even bother trying anymore. bring back the original format and conditions or it will disappear into the abyss