For the world’s top social media platform, Facebook is shockingly out of touch with its users. In fact, a bit of Googling would provide the social media conglomerate with some very valuable insight. So, let’s examine a few revelations that would bring lots of useful insight to Facebook, thereby enabling them to transform their platform into one that’s actually user-friendly; a platform that actually promotes the very thing that attracted us to Facebook in the first place: an opportunity to connect.
#1: Facebook is Depressing
It’s true. Facebook is depressing.
Study after study has revealed that Facebook is more divisive and depressing than it is uplifting and connective. Researchers have revealed that Facebook is a platform where a vast majority of users consciously create a social media persona that more closely resembles who they aspire to be. It’s not indicative of who they actually are as an individual. Studies have revealed that we perceive others as more successful, happier and more social than they really are. This leaves you feeling green with envy; you’re left to feel as though you’re missing out on the fun; and it leaves you feeling just plain depressed.
But the kicker is this: it’s all an illusion. A survey of Facebook users revealed that a vast majority — 98% — admitted that they had exaggerated or outright lied about an accomplishment, achievement, or other positive experience. (And we can assume that the other 2% are still lying!)
So all that jealousy and depression? It’s all for nothing. You’re jealous of the person that your friends wish they were. And at the end of the day, your friends, family, coworkers and acquaintances are all just as typical and unremarkable as you are. Oh, the irony! This all arises from a social media platform that was designed to be connective, not divisive.
#2: We Want To Block All The Game Invites!
Why do some Facebook users feel compelled to drag us down with their time-wasting shenanigans? That’s wonderful that you love Candy Crush Saga and Farmville, but most normal people really don’t care!
Yet those FB gaming enthusiasts still just don’t get it. So the game invites just keep on coming. Since an understanding on the part of the gamers seems less than forthcoming, please, oh please, Facebook, could you please give users the power to block all of those ridiculous FB gaming invites with the simple click of a button?
That’s right; Facebook needs a universal ‘I hate Facebook games’ button. (Perhaps they can put it alongside the ‘I hate kittens and hot cocoa’ button?). 😉 We can add this to our list of Facebook features (or in this case, lack thereof) that make us hate the people we’re supposed to be connecting with and enjoying!
#3: We Feel Stuck
An August 2014 Pew Research study revealed that while 94% of teens use Facebook, most felt as though Facebook was unnatural and clunky. Instead, they preferred more ‘natural’ platforms such as Twitter, but felt tied to Facebook. Perhaps it’s news to Facebook, but users should be happy! They should want to use your platform rather than using it simply because it’s the site that everyone else uses. (And after all, it is a social media, so the fact that others use it actually matters.)
Some believe that Facebook has been at the top, uncontested, for far too long. They’ve become accustomed to being a monopoly and the opinion of the users has become rather unimportant — a point that’s aptly exemplified by the fact that there is no Facebook customer service division. That’s among the most blatant ways to say, ‘I don’t care what you think.’
#4: Facebook Should Be One App!
Facebook should be one app, plain and simple. Users have griped about this time and time again. Downloading and maintaining multiple Facebook apps is obnoxious. They’re all inherently interconnected; dividing the features into separate packages is counter intuitive. We live in an all-in-one world; we want everything in one package. We the subdivision is confusing and it creates frustration and mistrust. A friend of mine summed it up perfectly:
This ridiculousness with Facebook messenger as a separate app is annoying. I get notified in FB that I have a message, but I can’t read it and would be forced to download the new app to do so. I have no interest in managing a separate app just for FB private messages….Annoying.
Fixing the Facebook Flaws and Reconnecting
Over the years, it seems Facebook has lost sight of its original mission: to serve as a platform where users can connect. Unlike many platforms, which evolve and improve with time, Facebook has devolved in many ways, with many counter intuitive changes that are just plain difficult to understand.
But Facebook isn’t alone; users have also lost sight of Facebook’s primary purpose and in doing so, we’ve made ourselves — and the others who don’t want to play Candy Crush Saga — miserable. It’s not about dreaming up status updates that make you look more successful and more fabulous than you really are; it’s about sharing your life — your real life, not the one you wish you were living. It’s about connecting with others in a real, meaningful way.
3 Things Facebook Can Do To Make Us Happier (and still make money)
1. Remind us we are here to connect with people and share great experiences.
Become our personal event planner.Facebook already knows everything about us, so it shouldn’t be hard to suggest ways to connect IN THE REAL WORLD. Suggest fun local upcoming events/concerts weeks in advance, friends to invite to the event (based upon interests + location) and offer to setup the event in a couple clicks.
a. Take it a step further and partner with Groupon to offer discounts on paid events.
b. For parents, integrate with sites like Care.com, to coordinate a babysitter for the event.
2. Offer a Freemium option. Look, Facebook – we know you make a killing off advertising and I even enjoy seeing some updates from brands in our news feed. But we loathe having to scroll past 3 advertisements for each update/photo from our friends.
We’ll even compromise – it doesn’t have to be 100% ad free, but it should be reasonably priced. Say $0.99 per month to suppress 80% of the ads. We get it, you need to make money and you provide a lot of value, currently supported 100% by advertising. I for one, would be willing to pay a little bit for a much better experience.
a. This could actually increase the value of served ads to the advertisers (meaning more revenue). Why? If we see 80% fewer ads, we’re more likely to recall/like/click the few that do appear, since we’re no longer scrolling past everything at hyper speed!
b. Paid subscriptions would help Facebook stabilize revenue long term, relying less on ad sales. If just 10% of users paid, it would mean $1.2 billion in annual revenue!
3. Integrate games that actually make us smarter, happier people.
Happify.com, Superbetter.com and Lumosity.com all lend themselves to being smarter and happier, rather than just being a brain drain.
Facebook: You promised to make us more connected, so do it. Please stop making us sadder and more isolated, or you’ll eventually end up like MySpace (remember them?). Pulling your apps apart and buying the next cool company only helps for a little while – you need to fundamentally rethink how you operate. We want to Like Facebook (pun intended), but it’s becoming harder and harder. And I’m not saying it will be easy to change but it’s necessary.
So try being more about Social and less about Media – you might be surprised at the result!
I’m sure there are 101 ways to help us be happier, better people, while allowing Facebook to remain profitable.
What else could Facebook do to improve?
Republished from LIFTdad.com