Facebook is the undisputed king of social right now, but I feel like they’re not doing a good job of connecting me with my friends in a meaningful way. When I log in, I see all sorts of stuff that I don’t really care about. For the longest time, Twitter was described to me as the place where you can learn what your friends are doing “right now”. I have been able to mold twitter into a meaningful tool, but I don’t feel like I have the same abilities with Facebook. They use their own algorithm to show me what they think is the most pertinent information, but I think there’s a lot of room for improvement.
Facebook has always done a great job of sending emails (friend requests, messages, photo tags, comments on photos) to drag you back into the site. That’s why I was really surprised the other day when LinkedIn sent me an email much better than anything Facebook has ever sent me. Check out the image that represents my my contacts that have changed positions in the past year:
Whoever had the idea for this promotion should get a big pat on the back. I know that I logged into LinkedIn because of it, and I saw a lot of tweets about people comparing and discussing the number of friends who had changed positions. This got me thinking – why did this have to be limited to my friends on LinkedIn, sent presumably once a year?
I had recently discovered a friend got married on Facebook, and I didn’t even know he was engaged. Granted, I met this person when I was living in Japan and I don’t keep in touch with him, but I would have rather seen that he got married than 90% of the stuff that’s in my stream (no offense to my current friends on Facebook). It got me thinking – why doesn’t Facebook produce a newsletter personably customized of my feed for the past 2 weeks? I want to know whose relationship status changed, who got engaged, who got married, who gave birth (and who deserves congratulations). There are a million other things I want to be notified about, but can’t really do at the moment.
Even if I did log in to Facebook every day (thankfully I don’t), I would miss these things. Seems like Facebook is wasting a golden opportunity to bring in even more eyeballs than they currently are. I need a service that logs into my Facebook account and gives me a two week summary of all of the stuff my friends have done and which ones were liked the most. Why hasn’t Facebook done this yet?
I’m not saying that LinkedIn is going to beat Facebook in social networking, but they sure are making them look like they’re the old and slow competitor, aren’t they? If I was Facebook, I would be copying this idea right away.
January 17, 2011 at 5:24 am
You mention “Twitter was described to me as the place where you can learn what your friends are doing ‘right now'”. It seems like the Facebook newsfeed covers the “right now” part but not some of the more meaningful stuff that you bring up. I assume the challenge is building algorithms to figure out what’s meaningful. For example, FB sometimes suggest checking out the old photo albums of friends as a way to reminisce. Sometimes it’s great and it takes you back. Often the albums are totally irrelevant.