Facebook has been around for nearly a decade now and many people are bored with the site and want something completely new. It is evident that this social media network has lost its appeal despite the recent changes to the Facebook interface. Many describe the new layout as being fundamentally the same just a bit more visually-oriented and minimalistic. But will this recent revamp cut it? Does Facebook not need a much higher level of innovation to take the site forward and to new heights?
Here are my ten reasons why Facebook should crash and burn:
1. Revamps Can Only Take You So Far
With so much going on in the social media world Facebook simply cannot keep up. Yes they have recently added numerous changes to the look and feel of the site but they’re just not innovating fast enough. Innovation should be on top of their list of things to do. The frequent revamps of the site just aren’t touching on the nitty gritty – how can we make Facebook more exciting for users?
2. Stifled Multimedia Approach
Despite rolling out changes to the Facebook interface, there is still not much on offer in terms of multimedia. Yes, Facebook has added a music feed to the site and have made photographs and videos the centre of the feed itself but the company hasn’t really given much thought to a more innovative multimedia approach whereby other types of media are considered i.e. podcasts etc. This point goes hand-in-hand with the first one – thinking out of the box on all fronts is crucial.
3. Competitors are A-Rising!
The new MySpace together with Google+ call for a more visual social media networking approach. Newcomer on the block At the Pool similarly takes pride in a more visual approach but goes beyond the virtual platform encouraging you to actually go out and meet people who you’ve been introduced to through the site. These sites could potentially become Facebook’s competitors. They are well-designed and offer many other elements that Facebook does not.
4. We Don't Like Ads
Let’s face it (excuse the pun). People don’t want ads on Facebook. They want to waste time clicking away, playing Facebook games, liking photos and commenting. The social aspect of Facebook is what gives the site value. The company thus needs to carefully consider how they can make money without hindering the communication of people. Whether this is at all possible is another debate.
5. We're Sick of Politics
The public is a little sick of politics and wants a more open platform whereby staff members more openly address the issues concerning privacy. This doesn’t mean just saying that they have new privacy settings but actually informing users of the privacy settings and equipping them with the exact know-how to use those settings properly and alter them as they see fit. Just be honest with us from the get-go!
6. Respect Our Right to Privacy!
In addition to the politics surrounding privacy settings and how to adjust these, there is also the concern that with every new revamp the changes are leading users to reveal even more say news sources. There is a belief that Facebook wants us to reveal more and hence does not explicitly explain privacy settings to us. Many simply do not want to reveal more so the need to respect our privacy is not being met.
7. Boring Interface
We’re bored. It’s plain and simple. We want a completely new design and are sick of seeing the blue and white Facebook logo. Yes we now have a lot more space on the screen for visuals and multimedia posts since the new revamp took place but it’s not innovative and we’re bored. Come on guys, mix it up or crash and burn!
8. Recycled Likes are Driving Us Crazy
This feature seriously drives me crazy. My mother recently asked me about a funny video I posted. I had no idea what the heck she was talking about. She sent me a link to it and I had honestly never seen it before. This happened numerous times…Bottom line – Facebook recycles your likes from pages you have liked ages ago. However, these posts that are being shown to others are certainly not something you’ve liked on your own Facebook feed and in fact, you may have never even seen them before…Kinda creepy and very confusing. Read more about Facebook’s recycled likes here.
9. Little Hope for Marketers
Facebook’s promoted posts and PPC advertisements are damn boring and quite frankly not innovative enough. I guess it’s a bit of a dual-edged sword since users don’t want to see these ads. But perhaps if the ads were better targeted, more interesting and visually exciting it would appeal?
In the past, marketers could not properly gauge the effect of their marketing strategies on potential customers. Forbes even recently came out with an article – Why Facebook Isn’t a Good Marketing Tool for Most Brands.
The new Facebook revamp has apparently now allowed advertisers to better target users based on interests and now there are more different types of ads to choose from. Only time will tell whether these efforts have been successful. Nonetheless, Facebook has not been able to successfully monetize the engagement people have on the site nor do I think they can do so at all without disrupting the quintessential purpose of the site – to be social.
10. Complexity Sucks
Yes this may somewhat contradict what I’ve said in the above points but it is something to definitely consider: Human beings are simple-minded creatures who are essentially happy with the less-is-more approach. Too much information and we shut off; we can’t cope and only take in snatches. The new minimalistic design may look clear-cut and simpler but the second news feed on the right-hand side still allows for complexity that many do not want to see and experience.
The question is ultimately: how can Facebook merge innovation and multimedia and at the same time keep it minimalistic but also entertaining for users? If the company wants to stay ahead of the pack they need to become much more creative in their strategies without increasing complexity. Instead they should look towards increased user experience without compromising the social valued derived from the site.
I’m not sure Facebook has been as creative as they can be and that they have innovated successfully over the last few years. The new interface just seems like another revamp. I doubt the slightly more modern, minimalistic version will cut it.
In conclusion, Emerson stated, “Every hero becomes a bore at last”. Is the same true of Facebook? Is it time for a brand new social network to overthrow this platform? Or will the company have the power to drive exceptional innovation that will bowl the world over as they did when the site was first launched? I say, throw in the towel and start afresh!