The Real Issues With The New Facebook

Posted by on September 26, 2011 at 8:54 am

I guess a lot of you use Facebook? Maybe you’ve heard about the changes? Hm? Lots of people have opinions on the new stuff that the world’s largest social network is implementing and there’s been a lot of uproar and blah-de-blah about giving away information (those people comprise the Island of Misfit Toys) and some stuff that isn’t even true. Regardless, now having spent some time with the new Timeline feature and some of the cooler aspects of the new service, which I love, there are some niggling aspects to this newest wave of changes that just don’t iron my coat right. Or microwave my dinners properly. Well, whatever, here’s the stuff that really needs to be fixed up or changed for the service to truly emerge unscathed.

Facebook Just Can’t Link Similar Events Together Properly, Yet

I don’t know why the service goes halfway here, because you’ve seen plenty of “15 more from Foursquare” or “30 more from Twitter” aggregates from different services/applications, but when stuff is happening in real-time, it’s incredibly loathful when it doesn’t work. It’s bad enough to see this in the News Feed, it’s another when someone starts listening to a bunch of non-playlisted music and it fills the entire Ticker. Playlists, people! They’re getting there, but it’s just not correct, yet.

The Music Service Is Awesome! If Only We Could See Our Friends’ Running Totals…

If you’ve used Zune or, you know how cool it is to gain a track record for your favorite songs, albums, and artists and share them with others. Facebook’s new Music service nails all of them… except the last bit. Sure, you get to see not only your all-time favorites – and also your monthly favorites, fitting in line with their new Timeline breakdown – but you can only see your own. If you want to see what others have been listening to, well, you can’t. So you see a friend playing a particular song, you sample it and want more. You look at their recent activity and see their past 21 (max) songs, but you can’t see their entire portfolio of music. Hopefully they change this soon.

THEY SWITCHED THE BUTTONS + Better Ticker Notifications

These are more nit-picky than anything (well, maybe all of them are), but these are some quick fixes I think they can nail. Now. Since I started using the service, I’d gotten used to the News Feed being on the metaphorical “left” and my profile being on the metaphorical “right”, so when they changed it for this update… I mean, I don’t get it, I guess. I understand the need to put you as the first option and I’ve probably already gotten over it, but c’mon, just switch it back. Facebook also ushered all their minor updates to the Ticker, which is a fantastic feature, but I’d really like it if stuff that was in reference to me was highlighted in yellow or something; something to catch my eye from the world of noise that flows through that corner of the screen.

Timeline Is, Like, Super Busy

The disadvantage of taking your profile, folding it in half and presenting twice as much info is that you’re having to see that much more stuff. Timeline is pretty brilliant by itself (although a little tricksy to navigate at times) with incredible recaps after every period (after recent months and years), but with that much content, it can be a bit much at times. Your latest content zig-zags from left to right across the line; something that takes some getting used to. It’s super cool that Facebook has boiled away the minutiae to show the highlights on a period to period basis, and that’s probably the genius of the Timeline at all, but it just doesn’t feel like enough in places.

Still, all these quibbles aside, the new Facebook is great and you should love it forever. Serious.


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