As many (most?) people do these days, at least in our society, a growing amount of my Internet access goes through my phone. In particular, I have an iPhone 6+. I also have a lot of apps, for a lot of different specific uses.
I try to be organized. Additionally, some of the uses I need apps for are potentially extremely time-critical, i.e., apps relating to piloting a plane. If I need weather information or radio frequencies or data in a crisis or emergency, I don’t have the time to flip through dozens of screens trying to find the app I need.
My “front page” is where all of my “1st tier” apps are, stuff I’m using a couple dozen times a day. The next page is apps that I use pretty often, but not quite as much as those 1st tier apps. Third page is flying/piloting apps. Fourth page is astronomy apps. Fifth is travel apps. Sixth is business apps. Seventh is a whole slew of utility apps, grouped into subdirectories by topic – music, finance, news, sports, reference, and so on. Finally I have a screen with all of the stupid built-in apps that I’ll never, ever use but I can’t delete.
One of the apps that’s been on Page One since Day One is the FaceBook app. I joined FaceBook in January, 2009 and looking back, it was used immediately for getting in contact with friends from high school. We were coming up on our 35th reunion in the summer and FaceBook became a key for connecting long-lost friends and getting out information about the reunion. It was used afterwards for sharing pictures, and used even more in 2014 for the 40th reunion.
Since then there are other groups of friends who I’ve connected with. Classmates from Pepperdine, friends from science fiction conventions, cousins and relatives, and keeping in close touch with my kids when they’ve been scattered all over the planet.
In addition, my personal site here also posts to FaceBook when I publish a new article, and a number of my friends only see this site by finding it on FaceBook.
That’s why FaceBook has been a “1st tier” app.
Today I moved it back to that second page, and if it keeps getting less useable and more annoying, it’s headed toward page seven.
I used to see ads once a day, maybe twice. Now I see dozens a day.
The ads all have an option that says, basically, “I never want to see an ad from these guys again.” You’ll see ads from other obnoxious and annoying companies, but at least you’ll never see that one again. Except that choice is apparently exactly as useful as the “close door” and “open doors” on an elevator. It’s an idiot button, there to make you feel like you’re doing something when it fact it makes absolutely no difference at all. There are a couple of particularly annoying ads that I’ve seen, and flagged, for four or five days in a row. I expect to see them tomorrow again.
The algorithms that pick the ads are useless. I’ve seen ads for Denver Broncos jerseys day after day after day. Anyone looking at my timeline for more than five seconds will see that I’m a HUGE fan of the Kansas City Chiefs and hate the Broncos with the white-hot fury of a thousand suns.
I do not see posts from people that I’ve flagged as critical, and family. Things my kids post I never see in my timeline, only find them by going to their timelines and hunting for the missing posts.
Meanwhile, there are people I’ve flagged as “acquaintances”, just one small step above unfriending them, yet I see every single thing they post, no matter how little it matters to me.
It’s gotten to the point where I can scan back a day or two in my timeline and not see my own posts!
I used to load FaceBook to stay in contact with my friends and family. Now I load FaceBook to spend the next hour swearing and deleting one useless piece of crap after another.
Out of curiosity, how much revenue does FaceBook earn by having a useless, annoying ad show up in my timeline, to only be deleted a fraction of a second later? I have never, EVER gone to one of those sites or pages or made any kind of purchase. NEVER. So some version of an “official” NFL Pro Apparel Shop paid FaceBook a fraction of a cent to spam me? Over the course of a month, even with more than a dozen obnoxious ads a day, FaceBook makes what, twenty-five or thirty cents?
How about if they offered a paid version with zero ads, controls that actually worked, and a timeline that shows everything from the people I’ve flagged as most important? Maybe $3 a month? I would pay that in a heartbeat IF IT WORKED, and FaceBook could make ten times as much money!
Nope, that wouldn’t make any sense at all, would it?
Instead, with the app on my first page, every time I go there for any other important app, which is about 100 times a day, there’s that little red dot showing a dozen or more new messages. And I’ll know that of those dozen, at least eleven will be deleted on first sight.
Fine, that annoying red dot an sit on page two where I’ll only see it once or twice a day. Or on page seven where I’ll see it every day or so, maybe.
Or on page eight, where I haven’t been in a month.
Good strategy, FaceBook!