Saturday, March 14, 2009

How do you do this?

Facebook has something on the order of 100 million users. 100 million. Now, I do question how it can ultimately make much money, but with 100 million users and advertising on each page, it's definitely making a few bucks. So why in the devil would they roll out a new home page for users that's so, err, stupid? What do I mean? Well, for those of you who aren't Facebook users, let me explain one major thing. The whole point is your "status update." You type in what you're doing if you want your friends to know about it, and they see it. For example, the top of my home page used to say "Donnie" and had a text entry box after that. Anything I typed appeared as my status. So if I typed "is going to play basketball", the thing everyone sees is "Donnie Barnes is going to play basketball." Simple. Now what do you have? This:

Now, the problem here is the question. "What's on your mind?" Well, one could be confused into thinking that you should now just type what's on your mind. Like "I'm craving pancakes." But if you do that, what everyone sees becomes "Donnie Barnes I'm craving pancakes." That's right, the action is the same as before, but the labeling has changed. So now people think the action may have changed to, so until people get the hang of it, you see a lot of status updates that aren't grammatically correct nor even close.

What I don't get is how someone running a site with 100 million users couldn't see this coming as a bad thing?


Lima Bean said...

I'm with you. It's incredibly annoying. Really the whole new homepage is pretty lame and I'm wondering what happened to the birthday announcements. Those were so great and they seem to have disappeared.

Donnie Barnes said...

You sure they won't dynamically appear when a friend is close to having one? Or do you know someone with one imminent now and it still isn't there?

If that's gone that is a big bummer.

Jane Elizabeth said...

OK, a few points.
According to Zuckerberg (or whatever his name is) on the Oprah show, there are 175 million users, increasing by 1/2 million EACH DAY.
Also, birthday notifications are still there. I had one for a friend today.
And, I don't like the new home page either. :(

Lady Holiday said...

I think the new look is more confusing. And I think that the birthday and event notifications only appear on the day they happen, which is to assume that nobody needs to plan ahead, which is wrong. FB used to show stuff coming up in three days or less, which gave people like me time to drop an actual birthday card in the mail. Now I'm back to never knowing what's going on. Oh well... that is my middle of the night rambling rant.

Donnie Barnes said...

I said "on the order of" on purpose. I know he claims 175M users, but here's the rub. He's claimed that for months now, yet he won't let anyone audit their subscriber base officially, which is apparently part of why they don't have any bigger named advertisers on the site as of yet. Nobody trusts him. And if he's gaining a half million new users a day, how have they had 175M users for months now???

My guess is there are well under 100M regular users, but he's got somewhere near 200M accounts that have been created. And I'd also guess he has some talented web programmers on staff, but it's obvious they have ZERO talented graphics people and ZERO talented user interface designers. The site has few outages, so they obviously have some good system administration, too. *shrug* But my main point was how can you get this big with this kind of thing (where it's all about the "experience") and have such little actual talent in making that experience better???