Facebook is a great utility with lots of great features, but there are also quite a few not so great features which aren’t hard to fix, and some features not present which shouldn’t be hard to add. This is my list, in no particular order. I’d love to hear from you for your ideas, or which ideas listed here that you’d like to see the most. Who knows? Maybe Facebook staff may actually listen to user feedback!
Adjustable photo tagging square sizes
Right now, photo tagging gives you a one-sized square that’s too big for accurately identifying people in groups of about 8-10 people or more, especially if they’re bunched together like they usually are. It’s really hard to figure out who is who in team photos, class photos and other such group photos, or find the person you’re looking for, especially if it’s from years ago when they look a differently like they do today. You can crop your Profile picture with an adjustable square. Why can’t you have the same feature for photo tagging? If it’s too hard or slows things down, which I would hardly think so, how’s about a smaller photo tagging square? Or one of three sizes, two of which are smaller than the current size? The default could be one a little smaller than the current, but not the smallest.
“Reply” to Comments and nest them
Right now, comments just line up below a post. People commenting in response to others just appear wherever they appear and it is convoluted to read through. If you want to have true social features, give people the ability to Reply to comments, and indent or “nest” those replies below the comment they are in response to. Make a Comment to my post at the bottom, and Reply to it, or see if someone had done it, and you’ll see what I mean.
Have background colours other than blue
Right now, everything is blue. I know corporate identity is important, but you can keep the same look so nobody would mistaken Facebook for Facebook, while allowing users to personalize their profile just by changing all the blue to certain other set colours. The other colours might not work well with that so I recommend options for 7 colour schemes, one for each of the six distinct colours of the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, “purple”) and black that’s always popular. Colour schemes would control everything so nobody ends up with a profile Facebook doesn’t want. Blue is so… well, blue. It’s getting depressing!
Right now, there is only a Like button. You can write about negative things in a way that people can Like it to support your thoughts, like how you hate Stephen Harper’s latest policies. However, media links often have more “neutral” titles like just announcing Stephen Harper’s latest policy. If you don’t like it, you’re not going to hit the Like button, but you can’t express your true feelings toward it other than having to leave a comment. Really. What’s wrong with having a Dislike button? Does Facebook think it’s “negative”? Like people would harm relationships by disliking something someone else posts? Well, true friends aren’t afraid to tell each other the truth. Oh, wait. Facebook isn’t about true friends. Okay, but it’s not as if nothing negative goes on via Facebook. The blue site colour is rather negative psychologically. And why are people having to censor themselves to accommodate the Like button?
Loosen criteria for automatic censorship
Right now, censorship of posts is done with some automated algorithm or previous user “reporting”. I recently posted a blog post on offensive lyrics in songwriting to Facebook that got banned (never got posted) because contained a video of that infamous hit song by Celo called FU. I’m not spelling it out here in case Facebook would ban this useful post from being shared because of language. I can sort of see why they’d ban that, but it wasn’t the video I was posting. Then last weekend I joking posted an article on CNN about how May was National Mast. Month (again abbreviated to minimize chance of Facebook censorship), saying it if were safe for CNN, it should be safe for Facebook, right? Well, the joke was on me! They took it off in two minutes! C’mon, man! It’s not like crap doesn’t go down on Facebook… and it’s far worse than either of those two things! Don’t be so conservative and hypocritical! People stalk and die from things that go on through Facebook. You’ve already got blood on your hands. If CNN allows it, you should definitely allow it! Was Mark Zukerberg born in the Bible Belt or something? Maybe he’s wearing one?
More flexibility in hiding notifications of others
Right now, all you can hide is individual posts, or all notifications from any person on your Newsfeed. It’d be great if you could get a choice of something like Hide Select Items from (First Name) as a choice when right clicking to hide something from a person. Maybe you don’t like their menial frequent status updates, or 5 friends those Facebook “whales” add every day, but love the photos or links they share. Wouldn’t it be nice to just get notice of only certain things from certain people? What about getting things on your newsfeed certain number of comments or more? That is, you only want to see the “discussions” going on? That might be more complicated but I don’t doubt the folks at Facebook can do it.
Screen tags of you before they appear in Newsfeeds
Right now, if someone tags you in a picture, video, note or otherwise, it generally appears and you know about it when everyone else does via notifications. Your only defense to remove it is to untag yourself and hope it were before anyone else were online to see it. It’d be nice to be able to just have a privacy choice where all tags of you must get approved before they appear on everyone’s Newsfeeds. As well, it’d be really great that if you removed a tag once, it stays that way! It’d stop some cyber-bullying or silly abuse of people who just retag you, not just on pictures but any number of Facebook tagging images, some of which are rather inappropriate, shall we say? If permanently removing tags gets too complicated for Facebook monitoring, then just the screening would do. You’d be notified, at least, of unwanted tags, so you don’t have to face not only the embarrassment of a bad tag, but then some “public” knowledge by others you removed it. Sure, Facebook tagging wouldn’t be as fun, but it’s generally old skool now.
Default privacy settings to Friends Only
Right now, default privacy settings is to Everyone. I’ve been touting this idea for a long time now. The default privacy setting on Facebook should be Friends Only rather than Everyone. It’s a small hassle to change for each person, but enough that many people don’t do it. If it were done the other way, it would not only save a lot of people time, but it’d save a lot of people a lot of potential problems. It wouldn’t be “anti-social”, either, as you’d be sharing things with all of your Facebook “friends”, but it’d minimize trolling and stalking.
Preview your profile as people not your Facebook “friends”
Right now, it is not possible to see how others who aren’t your Facebook “friends” see your profile. Most people don’t have the time to check the privacy settings they may have applied over the years on various photos, notes, certain wall posts or other features. It’s partly what strangers can see of your profiles that I’m thinking of here, but also non-Facebook users and Friends of Friends. What can friends of your friends see? It might be more than what strangers can see, but less than what you want them to be able to see.
Sharing privileges when adding new “friends”
Right now, new Facebook “friends” can see everything in your profile you choose to share with every other Facebook friend. But because Facebook “Friends” tend to be so casual, it would be great if people had to choice to selectively share only certain things with new Facebook “friends” they add who they might not know well, especially if they’re accepting to a Friend Request rather than sending one. People are generally pansies when it comes to not accepting Friend Requests, so why not have that prompt right away when they add someone rather than make them go through and reset all kinds of privacy settings on some notes, photo albums, and so on, not to include this new Facebook “friend”. One good piece of advice is not to put anything on Facebook you don’t want everyone else to see, whether “everyone” is truly everyone or just your Facebook “friends”. But like most good advice, nobody follows it even if they acknowledge it to be good advice.
I do have other “wishes” rather than suggestions, like reducing spam posts, links and application advertisements. However, they’re a lot harder to implement and I’m sure Facebook is working hard on it.
Do you have any comments ideas to share?
If you do, please do leave a comment in the box at the bottom of this page. Thank you.