Occasionally, when there’s just a bit too much peace and love in the world, Mark Zuckerberg will walk into the main offices on board the Facebook Death Zeppelin (which, admittedly, has been flying low for a while) and will say “Hey guys. I think the user interface could do with a tune up.”
What happens next comes in two waves. The first wave is millions of people going “Urgh! They’ve moved the buttons! I can’t find the buttons I want anymore! I HATE CHANGE! KILL! MURDER! DESTROY!”
The next wave is anyone left over by the first wave saying “Christ! They’ve just changed the user interface! It’s not the end of the world! I am so sick of hearing about how people don’t like the timeline! GAH! KILL! MURDER! CRUSH! DESTROY!”
Then Mark Zuckerberg returns to his rooms where he sits alone in the darkness and laughs softly to himself, before constantly clicking and refreshing the Facebook page of that girl he was dating in the Social Network.
But just suppose, for an second, that Mark Zuckerberg enjoyed a sunny day, that we saw a puppy, or ate a really nice strawberry, and thought “How could I make Facebook better?” What features might he implement then?
This is the first one everyone seems to think of. To a tiny extent I can see why- When your friend is vaguebooking about how “Today sucks and everything else also sucks” it would be so much easier to tick “Dislike” rather than having (God help you) say “What’s wrong?” and invite the lengthy, dramatic and essentially boring rant.
Of course, its eventual use would be very different, because we’re really unpleasant as a species. Within a week we’d be disliking people’s “hilarious” joke statuses, they’re engagement announcements, their new baby photos, their desperate pleas for people to please stop “disliking” everything they do as it’s really damaging their self esteem.
And at the end of the day, really, do you need to have the option to tick on a little thumbs down symbol rather than simply going into the comments field to say “You suck!”?
See Who Has My Information
The first thing everyone should be taught about Facebook, before they even type in their name, is that Facebook users aren’t the customers, they’re the product. In trying to monetise itself, what Facebook does best is aggregate the huge amounts of information it has about you, your friends and your Internet usage.
For instance, without you filling out the Location field on your account, you inputting any information about your sexual preferences, Facebook most probably already knows which city you’re living in or whether or not you are gay, and the adverts made visible to you will reflect that. Likewise, if you’re surfing while logged into Facebook you’ll quickly be told which of your friends like which websites.
One thing which would make this all a bit less terrifying would be Facebook let you see all of the information that they store on you, and maybe even let you remove your information from the system. Ha! No, that’s not going to happen.
Really this is all we want. A Facebook setting that allows us turn Facebook back to our own personal favourite design, whether it was the original one, a more recent design or (puking sound) the Timeline. Of course, this would be a huge pain to try and execute without any errors, but it would be worth it, if only so that when they did one of their new designer jobs London to Las Vegas wouldn’t be overwhelmed by people whining about the change.