Giving up on Facebook

filed under: , ,

3 December 2009

(I originally tried to post this on Facebook, but apparently Facebook has a secret post-length-limit, so I had to post it here instead.)

I will no longer be monitoring my Facebook wall / news feed / whatever.

Let’s list the problems with facebook:

  • It has five nearly-identical features (News Feed, Live Feed, Profile, Wall, “Nathan Arthur”)
  • The help for those features is unbelievably bad
  • The “Settings” pages are unbelievably complex
  • It has a million oddball features, but a horrible UI that makes you think those features do things that they don’t really do
  • It has a post-length limit that you don’t find out about until you exceed it
  • It has generally insulting advertising
  • It is rife with predatory applications (many disguised as games) that are just trying to steal personal information, or to trick users into spending money
  • And the coup de grĂ¢ce: there’s no way to get an RSS feed for my news feed.

On that last point: apparently facebook doesn’t want you to be able to get your news feed via an RSS reader. I can get it just fine through a desktop application (and that’s how I’ve been doing it, for a long time), but if I want to switch to a web-based RSS reader instead, I’m just out of luck. And of course, it’s impossible to discover this in their help. (They seem to actively avoid addressing the question, thereby actively wasting a lot of my time.)

So, I’m done spending energy on something that has a net negative value.

But I’m not going to shut off my account. I’ve configured twitter and my blog to both feed into Facebook, so any of my facebook friends who do still want the occasional update from me can still get it via facebook. (Hopefully this blog post shows up there, so they see it!)

I will definitely miss the day-to-day updates I get from facebook, but it’s just not worth it for me to keep trying to fight facebook in order to use facebook. Facebook friends: if you do use twitter (and I encourage you to do so!), please follow me, and I’ll follow you in return, and all will be better.

  1. Markus Merz | Hamburg St. Georg says:

    Yes! & Yes, it’s much better to post it here and send a notification into your social media channels.

    That said :) All the common supects get an automatic signal from me via

    My latest recomendation is to use posterous for everything longer than 140c and to set it up to signal the rest of the bunch. The feature set is incredible useful.

    Mail feedback from the different services tell you if the conversation starts rolling.

  2. Gareth says:

    I feel your pain especially about the predatory applications. My personal gripe is the requests page. No multiple select option for multiple ignores.

    I mistakenly clicked join instead of ignore to an application fan group invite and within a few hours I had over 300 “friend invites” and its still going up, from people who used the application and not to mention all the groups they want me to join. I still haven’t recovered and now can’t use my requests page because I haven’t had time to ignore/accept all those requests.

  3. Amitai Schlair says:

    Does this help?

  4. Nathan Arthur says:

    Actually it does! I really only care about the fourth step (the others tend to be very spammy), but it does exactly what I want.

    So, I’m back to following my friends status updates on Facebook. Thanks, Amitai!

Add a comment

(will not be displayed)

(not required)