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My Facebook Wishlist – AKA My Top 8 Gripes!

Henry Elliss
Henry Elliss
Managing Director
3 September 2008

As regular readers will attest, I’m a big fan of Facebook and have been for a long time. But that doesn’t mean I can’t see it’s flaws – and I’ve been told there are many. I can however only speak for myself, so I’ve put together my Top 8 list of Things I’d like to see Facebook improving / fixing / changing…

"Hey, you should be friends with this guy!"

When a new user joins Facebook these days, for the first few weeks their new friends get given the option of "suggesting" other friends that the new user might also know. This was a great addition when it was added, but I’d like to see the feature stick around permanently. There have been dozens of occassions recently where I’ve found a new (or old!) friend and wanted to tell other people about them, but there is no easy way to do this… other than just messaging them obviously! This feature works, so why turn it off after a new user becomes, well, less new?

"Where did my new friend go?"

I’m a big fan of the Friend Finder tool – it’s not especially complicated but has put me back in touch with numerous people I wouldn’t have immediately thought to search for. Having said that, the tool seems to be REALLY buggy! Apart from the design-flaw with the new Facebook layout (when you click the X to remove one person, it often collapses the whole row) it seems to work through tiny batches of my possible connections on any one day. Why can’t it just show me the whole darn list that it’s come up with? On any given day you will notice that the friends it is suggesting are based on one or two of your friends only (click "mutual friends" to find out who) – why do I have to check this tool every day to guarantee I won’t miss any?! I guess it could be a "processing power" issue, but I can’t see a site the size of Facebook having server issues, surely??

"Target me – but not just with ads!"

One of the big advantages of the Facebook platform is the amount of targeting you can achieve for advertisers. So why don’t Facebook use this data for other, less-money-spinning purposes? I’m pretty sure that given the amount of data I give Facebook, they could be suggesting a LOT more interesting stuff for me to look at – or serving me localised content. TV listings for instance, or weather forecasts. I’d love a little weather widget which I could choose to add to my news feed. I know I could easily install (or build) a weather application, but it wouldn’t be the same. I want Facebook to target me with nice things, not just with endless ads.

"Hey Facebook – Sort out your search!"

I know that Microsoft have been making various deals and arrangements with Facebook around their search capabilities, but I’d like Facebook to fix their search NOW! It’s never worked very well – issues I have include:

  • Search results never display well – click to the next page and the top entry is the bottom entry from the previous page! Arrrggghhh!
  • There seems to be no sense in the order in which Facebook Fan Pages are displayed – why not show the one with the most fans first?!
  • Clicking on "advanced search" opens up a whole can of problems I won’t bore you with now – needless to say, it doesn’t work.

I know I might be slightly more of a search geek than most, but is it too much to ask that a site which is all about connecting you with people you know makes it a LITTLE bit easier to FIND people?!

"How long have I been here?!"

I might be alone in this, but I quite like knowing how long I’ve been a member of a site. Most forums and member-sites give you this option – heck, most forums put it right next to your name. I’m not asking for that on Facebook, but would it be too much to ask to have a little "Henry has been a Facebook user since…" entry on my profile? Currently the only way of figuring out my Facebook anniversary is to search through my e-mails for the initial membership confirmation… Yes, I know – I’m a loser…

"Didn’t they just tell me that yesterday?"

Is it just me, or has the news feed got a lot slower with the new version of facebook? As a user of the mobile application, I occassionally browse through people’s status updates while I’m stuck on the train. But then I get in to the office and often see the same status update being reported as new in my feed, displaying after (i.e. higher than) content which I know was posted more recently. This issue is confused even more by the new design’s seeming decision to completely confuse me by ordering my find in the most random fashion possible. But either way – it needs to be fixed.

"I wish I could integrate properly!"

Recent developments seem to indicate that Facebook is slowly integrating itself with lots of exciting new Social Media sites – but not fast enough for my liking! I want to be able to PROPERLY integrate my Flickr photos with my Feed; I want to be able to see people’s Skype details easily (the current Skype app doesn’t work for me at all); I want to find which of my friends are using Twitter; I know this isn’t necessarily the most simple idea – but hey, I’m all about problems not solutions! :)

"I’d love to chat but it’s just TOO ANNOYING!"

Facebook chat seems to have been launched with much fanfare and then promptly left to languish in the bottom right hand corner of our screens. Why doesn’t it work properly?! I’m constantly frustrated by that stupid flicky-scroll thing it does whenever you move about on your screen, and the lag on messages can be awful. Is this just a beta or the final result? Enquiring minds need to know!

So that’s my list – does anybody else have any good suggestions to add to the party?

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