Home > business, social media > It’s Not About Changes

It’s Not About Changes

andy as mark @f8

Andy Samberg as Mark Zuckerman at the 2011 f8 conference (Creative Commons photo courtesy of cathy c)

Social media changes frequently. Sometimes for the better.

And sometimes not.

Such was the perceived case in recent weeks when Facebook announced several updates and changes. Lots of people were outraged. Others chimed in with the “It’s free. If you don’t like it, don’t use it” sentiment.

But I don’t think that sentiment is right.

After all, it isn’t the same as people complaining about using their real names on Google+. On that network, Google is forcing users to use their name or nickname, and not just a random name. In that instance, I think the “It’s free, don’t use it” sentiment holds. Google’s stance about using a real name isn’t related to the design of the social network, which was the reason for the Facebook changes.

(To be fair, that argument arises every time a social network makes a change to its design or function.)

At least in my case, I liked how Facebook operated for me before the changes. After the changes, I have to acclimate myself to using the network a different way, and that’s a bit of a hassle.

For instance, I would much rather have the whole timeline be my main timeline and the top stories timeline be the right-column timeline. But I can’t switch the two. It’s not that I hate the changes; it’s that the previous design worked well for me and the new one doesn’t.

So don’t tell me that Facebook is free and that I shouldn’t use it. I’m not upset just because something changed on a social network.

No, I’m upset about how those changes negatively affect how I use that service.

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