Monday, February 14, 2011

Facebook: Not Much More than Just a Common Place

In the last couple of months, I finally decided to register and see what that Facebook thing was all about. As expected, I did not see anything nice or charming. Actually, I got into just another crappy service proving the principle "the crappier the better". It's hard to imagine there are hundreds of millions of people using Facebook, yet it's reality.

To start with, Facebook proves its "charm" from the very beginning you've come upon it. Of course, you have to register in order to use the site. That's normal. But it's quite strange that during the registration process there is not a field to confirm your password. It's an unusual decision from Facebook sitemakers. What if you mistype your password? It's always a good idea to have an option for re-checking it. Especially, when it's a password field (thus, not a readable one, usually). Furthermore, there is not an email confirmation to enable your registration. You could be registered by someone else with your official email address as far as somebody knows it. But enough with the registration fun.

Facebook is a very user-unfriendly place. Is this intentional? In order to keep you longer on their website, people implementing it could have done it unamiable on purpose. Well, I'm just joking. Usually, you spend a lot of time to find a feature you're looking for. And if it happens to be a really useful feature, the odds are you are not going to find it at all. Why? Because it's just not there. Who does need useful features after all? For example, you cannot see a list of people you've invited to become your friends - a very simple for implementation, a very beneficial, yet inexplicably why, missing feature. Or you might see a red icon showing you have 34 messages in a chat with somebody and when you click on this chat there's nothing. Well, chatting does not bring Facebook any money, so it's a "good" feature, too.

Let's talk about some privacy... Not this time, we are still talking about Facebook here. So, as you already might know, pretty much every Facebook application requires access to your personal data. In addition, you are overwhelmed with adverts, various requests, "People You May Know" and you may not know, spam and whatnot. Sure, you've chosen to be there, knowing it's a "social" network, so there are not any reasons to complain.

The greatest advantage of Facebook is probably that it offers a little bit of everything. While it's not bad at first glance, in fact, it is just more crap. There is a chat possibility but it has nothing to do with the capabilities of ICQ, Skype, etc. There is messaging/emailing functionality but it's not even close to the real and pretty well-known email services' competition. There are photo sharing, video sharing, forum, linking and other options, again not at all near to the corresponding dedicated applications competition in terms of quality.

So, what do we have at the end? A "place" offering a lot of applications, yet none of them with exceptional or even good quality. But... it's a "place". Maybe, this is the key to it. Facebook makes people feel better since they are gathered at one common place and each of them has some good or bad, funny or stupid reason to stay at that place longer. Hardly anyone thinks he/she is using a not very efficient combination of washing machine and refrigerator because everyone is right there in the s**t together with the whole world. So, if you think to manufacture some universal device having cleaning, cooking, washing, TV receiving and so on capabilities but providing just a mediocre quality, and still conquer the world with it, most probably you won't have a success. Of course, not except you've made it a social device able to discuss, e.g., other people's (dirty) laundry while washing it.

Read about Skype service or find another service review in our Review Maze.


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