What facebook was and how it changed over the years

Facebook was started in 2004 and it became quite popular by 2008. It was not the only social networking website present around the web, so why and how it became popular, is still a question. I joined Facebook in 2010 with the only reason that my friends were present there, and we could chat and stay updated. It was a time when India was witnessing how to share photos, send messages to people around the globe by just sitting at your desktop. That span of 2-3 years, I believe, was when Facebook was at it’s best and was a complete social networking website. Today each of its features is used for purposes, for which it was never designed.

Seven years back, when I was 16, it was amazing to see technology helping people to connect with each other, talk and see their life updates. That’s what we do as a social being right? Hangout with friends, share thoughts and have fun! Such real-life social features of Facebook made it such popular. Today does these features exist? Earlier, it was a delight to open my Facebook account and see the updates of my friends. I would see photographs of events, trips, sharing of posts, group activities, writings etc. Just go back in time, and try to remember, was your news feed like this too? If you can’t relate, then the present condition of Facebook will make you feel the difference. Today, when I log in, what I see is 10% of page ads, 20% photos from liked pages, 20% memes, 40% tagged photos and very few personal posts. Well, a lot has changed, isn’t it?

The Facebook feature of tagging photos was a wonderful feature which enabled the uploader to tag their friends who are present in the photograph. I used to point my mouse cursor on the photograph to know the name of the person. Now, the tag feature is used as a crazy promotional tool! People tag their friends on any random photograph, in the name of funny memes! “tag a friend with whom you want to go on a holiday!” or “Name with R is going to give you a treat!“. My newsfeeds are exploding with hundreds of them! Which means, the tag feature now, does not indicate the people present in the photograph, but it actually indicates nothing! And in reality, the real ‘tag people in photo’ feature is no more used by people, because Facebook has made people lazy by implementing face recognition and auto tag. When I spoke to my friends about this, asking what’s so funny in tagging? They said…”sad you can’t relate your friends…it’s so fun!”; I mean really? Do I need to post a writing to express my friendship?

Another most annoying feature is the famous “Like” button on Facebook. It has transformed over the years to become the “I don’t care” button. It is now used as an acknowledgment of your friend’s post. Earlier it was to show that, “bro! I liked your photo“, or “I loved your post!” Now it is used to show, “bro, I saw it ok….I saw it!” It is evident that if I have posted, you will see it, why this nonsense?. This was fueled more when more buttons were introduced- love, sad, laugh… basically to show emotions. Are these really showing the true emotions, or is it making a fool out of our emotions.

For some reasons, people have stopped posting about themselves on Facebook. They have started sharing posts of pages, exclusively meant for entertainment. Some share their newsfeeds of pages from their interests. All these activities give rise to an Instagram type of framework, where I can see cluttered posts from everyone, and only a handful from my friends. It is again injected with ads from pages, making the Facebook homepage nothing less than a news channel feed. Facebook groups have become extinct. I don’t remember when I read a group update last. Worst is, the groups which are active are used for selling goods. Is this an online marketplace?

These changes over the years may have taken place due to various factors, amongst which introduction of new social websites and privacy issues are few of them. People complain about privacy and theft on Facebook. But believe me, all the websites which promise you privacy doesn’t offer you complete protection. Just remember, once it is on the internet, it stays there forever, even if you can’t see it. So if you have decided to come online, then face the truth too.

So I still miss the old Facebook. Whatever it was, it was a ‘social networking’ website before. It has now become a mere clutter of information which is being networked. It has become a platform for potential users, where one can instantly promote things because you have the audiences at hand. It has become a slave of marketing Giants who tweaks the Facebook features according to their own use. Truth is, Facebook is now used for timepass and not for social networking. Change is evident, but if it isn’t for good, it should be stopped.

What do you think about this? You think you like the present Facebook?  Do you agree with the thoughts? Do share your views about this.

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What facebook was an…

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