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What has Facebook been up to lately?

I’m pretty convinced that Mark Zuckerberg  has ADHD.  Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ have been a buzz with the latest updates on Facebook and I can’t say it’s all favorable.

The first thing you might have noticed is a slight change to your Facebook site (that is if you’re in Mark’s private beta circle chosen at random).  I awoke one morning to find I couldn’t easily navigate to my pages and suddenly, I had privacy settings right at my fingertips near the “home” button. This is a feature I actually love. The new privacy control options address a much needed concern for most Facebook users who are worried about how their profile appears to other users and who can see their data. Zuckerberg has “dumbed”  down the privacy settings and narrowed it to three basic options: Who Can See My Stuff?, Who Can Contact Me? and How Do I Stop Someone From Bothering Me?

Each privacy setting is carefully explained and you can put your friends into whatever category you deem best for your profile. This should clear up a lot of confusion for users and I think Zuckerberg hit a home run with his consumer base with this crucial site change.

My next new favorite feature is “drag and drop.” Facebook is finally allowing users to drag and drop photos into their news feed and instantly create albums. It’s a real thing of beauty and works wonders. I’m extremely happy with this new change and think it’ll be an instant hit for those of us that were tired of uploading photos one at a time.

But of course they can’t all be home runs and this is where things start to go a bit down hill. Sorry Zuckerberg. Not all your ADHD moments are wins. Who else was annoyed during the holidays with the gift banner across their news feed? I know I was. Holidays are stressful for most people and now that Facebook has launched an internal gift program, I think it’s even worse than their targeted ads.  Gift prompts appear next to birthday reminders and they also randomly pop up in the ticker when someone likes a page.  If your friends happen to like the Starbucks page, you might be prompted to get them a gift card.

Let’s continue down this train wreck with Facebook messaging. In a small test trial, Facebook has been trying out charging a $1 for users to message non-friends. Imagine trying to communicate with a potential business partner or resource and having to decide if the investment is worth a dollar? A dollar might not seem like much unless you’re targeting multiple people online for your business needs. This is where Facebook fails with social communication and social media in general. You can’t charge people for wanting to be social. Charge to promote their stuff – that’s business but don’t charge someone for wanting to reach out and make a connection. That’s just bad business.  Zuckerberg may be thinking this will reduce spam but that’s what the “other” folder is for. Zuckerberg, perhaps we should keep this one on the back burner.

Last but not least, Zuckerberg found time to create a new app. I have no idea what inspired this.  It’s one of the most annoying features on Facebook but yet, somehow it was given its own app. I’m highly amused that this was given any thought or focus but alas the “Poke” app is real. Out of curiosity, I downloaded this app to try out and it only lasted about an hour on my phone before it was deleted. With the Poke app, you can, of course, poke but also send messages and videos that last up to 10 seconds before they are deleted. After they are deleted, you can’t retrieve them and if you blink, click on the link wrong, etc your window of opportunity is lost.  The poke app would be fun without the time constraint and deleted messages.

Have you noticed the new Facebook features? What do you like best or least? Let us know in the comments below.


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