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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Why Facebook Updating is getting ever so Annoying

If you've been active on Facebook for over the past year or so, you will notice that the developers that make Facebook have added numerous updates to Facebook, whether you liked it or not.

Some of these changes have been welcome. One of these is the consolidation of chat and private messages into one, meaning that your chat history is saved and any private messages you send to someone can be opened by them in a chat window with you. Parents, even though the kids may be past the general age of parental consent for most things on the internet, 13, have a mechanism to watch their kid's chat messages.

Now for some not so good changes. Recently, a Facebook update was put out that allowed you to use rss feeds to subscribe to a person's facebook to see status updates. Facebook has also stopped sending you e-mails for every kind of event you allow Facebook to send a reminder e-mail about and will instead only send you "important e-mails". If you like this, you can revert back to this in the settings. For me, I like the fact that my e-mail inbox does not get filled by reminders saying that my friend tagged me in a photo (and other similar reminders). However, I'm not comfortable with the fact that someone that hasn't friended me on Facebook can subscribe to my Facebook feed and see my updates. Luckily, I can limit or totally disable this in the settings so that random people can't easily see my Facebook information.

Today, we get news of a "timeline" feature that you can use to see what an old friend has done to his profile over time. This feature is both good and bad. We sometimes find old friends on Facebook that we haven't seen or spoken to in ages and the memories start coming back. The timeline feature can be used to see where that old friend has been. This is also a double-edged sword. For example, if you are applying for a job, chances are that the potential employer will use this feature to check your Facebook to see where you've been. Another good reminder why you should only post on Facebook what you would be comfortable showing others in public.

As always, you have those who complain about every update and say that they want the old interface back. There, you have 2 options: you can either deal with it or not use Facebook. Software is always evolving according to what will work best for the users. I think that Facebook is updating too fast. New features are good, but people need time to get used to the changes you just made before you can introduce new features. Overall, I think the changes made to the Facebook interface has been useful and implemented well, with one exception. Facebook should alert its users en masse about any changes made to the Facebook interface in a way that is easiest for everyone.

So, do you like the new changes to Facebook? If you don't, why do you like the old interface more? I would like to hear what you think via the comment box below or by e-mail at, and I will answer all recieved e-mails at the end of my next article. You can also follow me on Twitter (username is @rctechgeek).

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