Facebook likes – the new system is another missed opportunity

facebook likes Facebook likes. They’re those things that some of us fail to get more than a handful per status update, whereas others seem to fall over them with the frequency of Elizabeth Taylor and husbands.

What Facebook have done is to alter them such that when you hover over the ‘like’ button, you can choose between Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad and Angry. Almost like the Seven Dwarves, then, thus managing to cram in the one thing they said they wouldn’t bring to our large and small screens in a month of Sundays – the dislike button.

I also think Facebook hit a missed opportunity with the recent addition of ‘reply to comment’. If you’re a frequent user of Facebook, you’ll know what I mean, but I think it just knocks that part of the discussion into a cul-de-sac, because no-one who hasn’t yet commented within that segment will receive notifications of any further replies from it, unlike the comments on the main part of the status.

And to that end, I find when a status receives lots of comments anyway, Facebook automatically switches off your notifications from it. One example was when someone posted that a relative had passed away and everyone, understandably, wanted to express their sympathies but – and maybe Mark Zuckerberg hasn’t got the bandwidth for all his users to benefit from this – after a couple of additional comments, they stopped altogether. I figured people must still be commenting and, indeed, they were, but Facebook had switched the notifications off by itself.

So, what would I like to see Facebook implement?

(a) In the same way you can ‘Hide all from’ a page, I would like a “Hide all links to memes and videos which have been round the block more times than an alley cat”, i.e. when you see someone sharing that same bloody meme or video for the umpteenth time and which wasn’t funny the first time. These are often labelled “You won’t believe what she did next!” (I bet I will)

(b) Similarly, a “Hide all pages which post little else but those memes and videos”. These are most frequently pages for American or Australian radio stations. Today, one posted a video that claimed it would make me laugh in 39 seconds. I provide a link here for explanatory purposes, but I ask this – what the hell has this got to do with their radio station? Nothing.

Sadly, Facebook counts any sort of interaction with this content as ‘engagement’ so even if you downvote a video on Youtube, or write on the radio station’s Facebook page that their managing director is a big poo head, then it all counts as ‘engagement’ and pushes it in everyone’s face on the homepage.

(c) Highlighting original thought: You know, when someone actually has something to say. Something that’s different from everything else that has been posted that day, so we can go to our homepage in the time it takes for our kettle to boil, and read something that will change our minds, not something that will make us skip past at a pace.