Ah, poor old Facebook. It seems like everyone’s putting the boot into Facebook at the moment, and here I am adding my voice to the sound of the crowd. Why don’t I give poor old Facebook a break, eh? Poor, unloved social networking site that it is…
Hold it right there! Facebook isn’t particularly unloved, is it? According to Wikipedia (so it must be true!), as of September 2012 Facebook had over a billion active users, and I am still one of those users. The pros do outweigh the cons: I enjoy reconnecting with friends from the past, and sharing news and photos with friends and family all over the world. However, I have issues: issues shared by fellow Facebook users, bloggers and administrators of Facebook pages I like – the pages whose updates Facebook still allows me to view, that is…
I realise the people behind Facebook want to make money (who doesn’t?), but $10 a day to advertise a Facebook page is a tad beyond the means of most small businesses. It’s certainly beyond the means of the Alison Jack – Author brand! Even if a business can spare that sort of money, there’s still no guarantee its page’s followers will see its updates, so the words ‘waste of money’ spring to mind. As one of my Facebook friends pointed out, if he likes a page it’s because he’s interested in the subject matter. If it transpires that the page’s updates aren’t as interesting as he’d hoped, he has the option to unlike the page. This decision should be made by the Facebook user, a human being capable of independent thought, and not by Facebook, which is a bloomin’ social networking site for heaven’s sake! Am I ranting? Damn right I am!!!
So how do I make sure I can see updates from all the pages I like? Well, to start with Facebook seemed to make its censorial decision based on how much a person interacted with a particular page. If I were to regularly like or comment on the posts on page A but not page B, it would be page A’s updates I’d see on my news feed. However, no more. Being a tad weird, I count snakes among my favourite animals. I used to regularly click ’like’ under the stunning photos on the Facebook page dedicated to these amazing creatures, but it struck me recently that I hadn’t seen any such photos for a while. Had the snakes’ page administrator stopped posting?
No! Facebook had decided that I didn’t want to see pictures of snakes any more, and the only way to rectify this would be to receive notifications every time there’s an update. Er, tedious! I like quite a number of pages, and I really don’t want to have to set up notifications for each one when it would be so much easier simply to view the updates on my news feed.
Oh, and talking of my news feed, don’t get me started on the ‘top stories’ rubbish…ah, too late! Pretty much every time I log in I discover that Facebook has selected the posts I should be reading. It calls them my top stories. Most of these (ahem) ‘top’ stories are a: at least a day old, and b: things I’ve already read. Every day, I ask Facebook to stop doing this and show my friends’ most recent posts instead, usually while muttering expletives through gritted teeth, only to find by next morning that my news feed has defaulted back to top stories.
Please forgive the overuse of the exclamation mark in this blog post.
And finally, on a sad note I’ve just found out that British comedian Rik Mayall has died at the age of 56. Rik was, and always will be, one of my all time favourite comedians. Thank you for decades of laughs, Rik.