Sadly, it seems that nine times out of ten that I write about a social network site, it is complaining about Facebook. Of course, in my defence I must say that Facebook consistently changes the site so as to maximise any irritation it might give users. Facebook may be the biggest social networking site in the world. It seems to me it also the one that is least responsive to what its users want.
To wit, this morning I awakened to see two new boxes on my Timeline: one for Photos (photos in which I have been tagged, not photos I have uploaded) and one for Likes.This did not make me happy at all. Quite simply, I do not want my Timeline cluttered up by needless boxes and both of these boxes are quite needless and redundant. Links to one's Likes and one's Photos (including those one has uploaded herself or himself) are already on one's menu bar at the top. There is then no need for these extra boxes on one's Timeline.
Of course, these Photos boxes and Likes boxes would not be a problem if one could hide them or remove them. Unfortunately, one cannot. These boxes are there whether one wants them there or not. In an attempt to get rid of these Photos and Likes boxes I set it so that only I can see my Likes and untagged myself from every single photo in which I have ever been tagged. Sadly, I can still see the Likes box (although others cannot) and the Photos box is still there, although it is empty. It seems that I still cannot have a nice, clean Timeline with only things I have posted.
The simple fact is that in introducing these boxes and giving users no means to hide them or remove them, Facebook has effectively taken away their users' ability to have their Timelines the way they want them. While I am guessing some might have no objections to these boxes, I am sure that there are many like me who simply want their Timelines to contain posts and nothing more. Indeed, I do not use any apps because I don't want my Timeline filled with rubbish and I hide each Friend add and each Like because I don't want these boxes filling up my Timeline.
Of course, this is quite typical of Facebook. Like many users I did not want Timeline to begin with, but I got it anyway. Like many users I still hate Timeline and have said as much to Facebook and yet I still have Timeline. Unlike most web sites Facebook not only does not seem to care what its users think, they do not seem to care if something they do decreases the usability of the site or their users' enjoyment of it. Facebook has a long history of doing things its users do not like and refusing to change them regardless of how much angry feedback they receive.
I am assuming that I am not the only person who is angry about this, and I do hope that anyone else who is angry complains to Facebook. Of course, Facebook does not make it easy to leave feedback. If you do want to complain to Facebook about this, just click on the following link to Facebook's feedback form: Feedback. Once there you can complain to your heart's content.
Of course I am guessing many are probably thinking that if I dislike Facebook so much, then I should just deactivate my account. As tempting as it is to do that, the problem is that I have friends with whom Facebook is the primary medium through which I maintain contact with them. And sadly, these friends do not seem to wish to move to Google+, my social networking site of choice. If I want to stay in regular contact with these friends, then, my choices are simply Facebook and email.
I also realise that there are those who will argue that Facebook is free and so I have no reason to complain. To me that argument holds no weight, as Facebook is not truly free. One effectively pays for Facebook every time one buys products from companies that advertise on the site (which is just about everyone now days). I might also say that if one uses this reasoning, then no one would have a right to complain about broadcast network television, which given it can be picked up with a common, everyday television aerial, is effectively "free" as well.
At any rate, I do hope that for once Facebook takes into account what its users want and gives them the ability to remove or hide these Photos and Likes boxes. To me hiding all of one's Likes and untagging oneself in every photo in which one is tagged is not a good solution, and I do not think that is what Facebook really wants users to do. At any rate, I suspect that this is yet another step on Facebook's path towards becoming what MySpace is now. Indeed, unless Facebook changes the way it treats its users, then I suspect that it will be as much of a graveyard as MySpace is now.