A BIG no-no

11 06 2009

In the past 9 months or so, I have become increasingly tired of Facebook.  Ever since they did their first ‘facelift’ and opened up the API for outside apps, it has become slow, bloated and essentially reaching what can only be described by human metaphor as the ‘mid life crisis’ years of a social networking site. Yet I still use it, and it is mostly out of necessity because either I don’t have people’s emails or phone numbers. Its a bit like using the crappy tin can opener that is always a mission to operate.

Now as if the incessant ‘What type of (fart/dwarf/etc) are you’ quizzez, the mandatory 6 month facelift where they re-arrange everything, and that guy who you met for 5 minutes who is in fact a total spammer inviting you to anything and everything  wasn’t enough of an issue, they come along with their targeted advertising.  I have no problems with Facebook trying to make a bit of money out of advertising. Why the hell not?  However, the targeting of which they speak is anything but. It seems as if they have a set of 10 all – encompassing  keywords which they harvest from different parts of your profile (whoa! you’re SINGLE?? you MUST wanna meet HOT guys/girls in YOUR area)  and then seemingly bombard you with the ugliest, most irrelevant adverts ever.  But if I was the person  in charge of the advertising department at Facebook, and someone came along and proposed to use the below advert to promote a ‘workout technique’ they would get a metaphorical punch to the temple.


Not only is the advert ugly, irrelevant and of low quality, it also waters down the look and feel of the rest of the site. Why advertise for six packs and not include a picture of some rippling six packs? It also appears that the person who made it didn’t think twice before using a photograph of Edward Norton (From the flm ‘American History X’)  with a big nazi swastika tattooed on his chest. Did they forget the connotations of the film? Maybe their workout technique involves committing some race crime and getting buff by beating off your would-be attackers in prison. Maybe they just figured no one would recognise the image.  Have these people forgotten how to use their brains? I wouldn’t want them operating anywhere near my business.


Maybe I am ranting. But it is this lazy attitude, and lack of attention to detail which in my eyes has made the overall user experience of Facebook much less satisfying since it took steps to diversify itself and make itself appeal to a much wider market. To continue using my previous analogy, Facebook has lost its youthful sex appeal and is now slapping on the makeup (vanity URLs)  in order to keep up with the other ugly bloated ladies (MySpace) and the younger, edgier contenders in social media (Twitter).