I think we can all agree that the early social networking sites were total and complete fails. Myspace, Friendster, Meebo — all those ugly, tacky sites got us through the early 2000s. But when Facebook was born in 2004, it was truly a revolution for social networking. Real names, professional-looking profiles, this site really had it going on… until Zuckerberg decided to start implementing the crazy changes that the site is now for infamous for making…like the big ones that premiered this week.
So in honor of the fact that we’re back on campus and spending 90% of our time on Facebook tracking down that cute guy from Chem, we decided to take a look back at the way things used to be.
THEN: A “.edu” college email address was required for registration.
NOW: Anyone (and I mean ANYONE) with any email address can sign-up.
Facebook was originally invented for college kids…and college kids only. It was designed to be a place where you could share your photos and thoughts without worrying about your mom or your little sister seeing it. Unfortunately, Mark Zuckerberg wasn’t making enough ad revenue with his limited college-aged page views, so he decided to open it up to everyone. I still can’t decide if that was a good move or not…
THEN: If you wanted to annoy someone, you poked them.
NOW: If you want to annoy someone, you can poke them, super-poke them, send them a virtual drink, hire them to work in your virtual city, or send them a virtual cow. Just send them an invite of any kind.
Build a farm, create your own pet, build a city, DJ at your own nightclub, uncover your family tree. It’s gotten to the point where there’s an app or a game for EVERYTHING. Aside from people posting on your wall or sharing things with you the way Facebook always intended to, you now have to worry about the 500 pending game requests you have from people you don’t even talk to in real life. Talk about ridiculous.
THEN: To talk to someone, all you had to do was post on their wall.
NOW: Why wall post when you can just comment on everything?
It used to be so simple: post on someone’s wall to talk to them and then Facebook would store you entire conversation with the “Wall-to-Wall” button. Does anyone else remember that button?! Now there’s just so many unnecessary communication options. Sure, you could still post on their wall, but why do that when you can just comment/”like” literally everything they’ve done? It makes communication a lot harder to archive, that’s for sure.
Nicely organized with all the essentials (networks, relationship status, hometown, mini-feed, and friends) on one page.
NOW: Seriously, what’s with the 5 random pictures? And why is all the basic information jumbled all together in an unorganized paragraph? Not to mention, we don’t need to see all the comments and likes on every single activity a user does. Oh, and did you notice how many more ads there are? Ugly, ugly, ugly.
THEN: You posted your favorite movies, quotes, books, and TV shows on your own profile.
NOW: Everyone has to “like” everything in order for it to appear on their profile.
Okay, so it’s fine if you “like” Lady Gaga or you “like” American Idol, but what really gets me annoyed is those people who “like” ridiculous things such as “taking a hot shower after a long day of work,” “if you’re in love, LIKE THIS <3 <3 <3,” or my personal favorite “I LOVE JESUS. IF YOU DON’T LIKE THIS, YOU DENY JESUS IN YOUR HEART.”
Honestly, I’m addicted to Facebook and I don’t know anyone who isn’t, but I think it’s safe to say that the old site had a lot going for it. But if I know Zuckerberg (which thanks to the Social Network, I feel like I do), he’ll never just be happy and leave the site alone. I’m confident in saying that there are a lot more annoying changes coming up. And next time around, thanks to the open email policy, I’ll have to explain to my Grandma why her newsfeed looks different.
[Editor note: Does ANYONE else remember the pretty truck??]