I’ve been falling out of love with Facebook for a while. Where once I used to jump on early every morning, and chat, catch up on gossip, and share my own small highlights and lowlights throughout the day, now I visit maybe once or twice a week. It’s become a chore. Want to find out what’s new in your newsfeed? First you have to wade through adverts, Suggested Apps, Suggested Posts, pages your friends like and the rest. Too much effort.
Facebook’s user experience would suck a little less if the ads and promoted posts they pushed weren’t so utterly random. On an increasingly rare visit last night, up popped this:
The Sexual Recovery Institute is an LA-based clinic that focuses on sex addiction. I know this because I googled them. Leaving aside the question of whether it’s a good idea for an organisation to push a post that deals in sensitive personal issues to a general audience on a social networking site, what on earth is Facebook thinking? Look at my timeline and it’s all running, Brentford FC, and the occasional video of cats falling off things. Sex addiction? Not so much. Admittedly I’m a fan of Game of Thrones, but that’s as saucy as it gets on my newsfeed.
It’s like chatting with your mates in the pub and having a complete stranger join your table and try to start a conversation about STDs. Wouldn’t you be edging towards the exit too?
And judging by the comments on the post, I wasn’t the only one wondering what was going on. Reactions range from amusement to outrage.
I understand that Facebook needs to make money. But pushing irrelevant ads that are of no interest to their target audience does no favours to them or the brands they’re promoting.
Facebook must be sitting on a stack of data about me by now. It’s surely not impossible to use that information to at least serve up promotions that I might be interested in. I’m tired of the lazy demographic targeting that assumes that because I’m female and the wrong side of 40, I’m only interested in reading about stomach fat and cellulite. And sex addiction, apparently.
But in the end, I’m with Mark Schaefer – I’d happily pay a fee to Facebook to get rid of all the clutter and return to a decent user experience. Pretty please.