A Big Fail for FB: Facebook is the New MySpace
By Andre' Hagestedt
(Portland, Oregon) – It will be very interesting to see what takes the place of Facebook after its latest switch-a-roo. Is Pinterest going to overtake it? Will Google Plus become dominant? Or something else?
The new and bulky, awkward timeline design for Facebook is surely its death knell. This kind of unwieldy, user unfriendly look was much of the reason social media addicts left MySpace long ago.
Now that FB has imposed its retool on everyone, the overwhelming response seems to be of disdain. And for good reason. Many business people on FB have pointed out the redesign makes many things hard to find, it puts individual posts much farther apart than before, and there's that puzzling light blue background color behind everything with clumsy white boxes which host your posts.
Oregon Travel Daily's sister site, Oregon Coast Beach Connection, dealt with the change on FB tonight (http://facbook.com/OregonCoastConnection). Sure, the change has been brewing for a few months now, and numerous users made the plunge beforehand. But always, the complaints far outnumbered the positive responses. So we waited beyond the last minute.
Then today, as Oregon Coast Beach Connection's FB page dealt with the changeover - as anyone with a FB account also had to do – the complaints flooded the bandwidth.
“Trying to find anything on timeline is a pain - dont like it at all!!” said one fan on the Oregon Coast Beach Connection FB page.
“It is very hard to navigate,” said another business owner. “I want people to be able to look at my photography with ease, and I feel like it has made it way more difficult. Not happy.”
According to the FB announcement page on the subject, it's so you can tell your “life story” - seemingly the big reason. OK, so why the awkward, hard-to-navigate design? They don't discuss that.
Also, why do we want to tell our whole life story on FB? No one there addresses that.
Other reasons given for the change include the ability to feature new apps (apparently so you can annoy even more people with whatever minutia you can announce about what games you're using), and what activities you're engaging in, etc.
Great. So why the new awkward design? No one is willing to answer that question.
Then there are the technical difficulties and ugly results of that background photo at the top. Unless you have just the right size and resolution uploaded, it comes out pixelated into various degrees of ugliness. We were trying to get that right tonight with the Oregon coast FB page and it resulted in so many multiple posts that it alienated at least two fans. Two people left over the course of the night because they got sick of our meanderings. Thanks a lot, FB, for the setup to fail.
So what could they have done to hurt themselves less – and the online profile of those on FB?
The former design of small, paragraph-like posts over that plain white background should have stayed. The big photo in the background is also grossly unnecessary, although that could be useful for some users, if they so wished to use that option. They should have made all the new options exactly that: optional - and let folks decide if they're useful. The new apps, the timeline features that exposes all their old posts, should have been an opt-in situation.
Now that you have to search carefully over each FB page for what's relevant, what's new, etc, it has definitely taken the fun out of it for the user. The new design smacks of the old MySpace chaos.
We've opted to greatly back off our involvement in this social media format, in hopes it will either improve or something else will come along to replace it and keep up the quality. For now, FB has certainly dropped the ball on quality.