The Perfect Social Media Platform Doesn’t Exist Yet
Before you lose your mind, let me clarify a little bit. I am only really referring to the big three here. Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.There are a few different reasons for my forming of this opinion and don’t you worry, I’ll explain.
They all have their different strengths and weaknesses. For the sake of this argument, I am about to share with you their imperfections for the most part. These are based strictly on my own personal experience and research. We’ll go in order of my least favorite, to my favorite social platform.
Where do I even start? There are so many grievances here, but my least favorite part of the user experience is the click-bait articles going blitzkrieg on your timeline. Heavens to Betsy that has got to be the most frustrating part of scrolling through Facebook.
My feed is constantly filled with these headlines, “You’ll never guess what he did when he saw this!” And when you click on the article it takes you to an awful, seizure-inducing, cluttered website. Suddenly you have been warped into the bowels of the internet with no idea where to even find the content you were looking for. Not all that different from this site.
Ok obviously that is a stretch, but you get the point.
There are a few reasons for these posts showing up in your feed, most likely someone you are “friends” with shared or liked it. In which case, you need to purge your friends list or maybe reconsider your life entirely.
A perfect example:
The other reason is that nearly anyone/any company can get into your feed through promoted posts via targeting or by Facebook’s questionable “Suggested Post” functionality.
And another winner:
In the end, this leads to an overall poor user experience. The line is so far blurred on whether I should go to Facebook to interact socially with friends or go expecting to see videos of a Police officer doing something to someone and everyone getting all riled up about it in the comments.
That is my biggest complaint about Facebook, but upon doing a little research and surveying my co-workers there was no shortage of positives and negatives. The first, and most overwhelming response, is relative’s behavior on Facebook.
I personally can’t say that I have this problem, but I have seen it plenty. To not ruffle too many feathers here, I will just explain it as this:
Your uncle from Kentucky that you have never met leaves a comment on your picture saying something that should absolutely only be said in a private message, if said at all. It’s a strange concept of online self-awareness that doesn’t exist in a lot of um…older folks.
This is definitely a factor in the shift of teens moving away from Facebook and using Snapchat to communicate instead. And if you’re thinking, “What about Snapchat?” I don’t include them in the social media conversation, because they are more of a messaging app than a social media platform.
Another complaint from a co-worker that resonated with me was the fact that Facebook’s all-knowing algorithms decide what you see on your feed. It’s not like Instagram or Twitter where it is a linear feed based on the time something was posted. For example, you can open Facebook on your phone and your desktop at the same time and see completely different content.
There are plenty more complaints, and of course plenty of positives too. Obviously Facebook allows you to stay in contact with people effortlessly, in a way you otherwise wouldn’t be able to. It also has limitless types of content you can post as well as share, unlike the limitations of Twitter and Instagram.
The deficiencies here aren’t nearly as lengthy as the list for Facebook. However, Twitter probably gets the least amount of my time and affection amongst the 3. Twitter has it’s purpose, and for me that purpose is news. It actually serves that purpose well, but there are still things that I question.
The first piece has been their blessing and their curse. The character limit. Twitter is a text-reliant platform. It doesn’t rely heavily on images like Facebook and Instagram. So if you’re text dependant, why limit it so much?
I’m not saying to open it up to a limitless amount, but is 140 characters really enough to complete a thought? I understand that this is the point of Twitter. To have quick, short snippets of information. However, I feel as though 200 or 250 would be a little bit more reasonable. Especially for businesses using twitter, maybe not so much for the average user.
Another complaint is that Twitter isn’t making enough of an effort to change and innovate with the times. Yes, this includes changing “Favorites” to “Likes” this week. Facebook & Instagram have made numerous changes to improve the user experience, while Twitter has remained largely unchanged in its basic functionality. Remember who else did that and got eliminated from relevance? I’ll give you a hint. It rhymes with shyspace.
Lastly, spam accounts aren’t regulated on Twitter. Which means there are probably literally millions of fake accounts out there running around like pillagers pestering innocent tweeters.
But, like I said, Twitter is by far the most unrivaled real-time platform for sharing information or news. There is no quicker way to find out who Justin Bieber was just seen with than to follow someone who is there and is tweeting about it.
My favorite platform by leaps and bounds. But, of course, I can find something to complain about here.
Not being able to link out anywhere but in your profile description is a tad bit frustrating. While I understand why this is, it can be especially troubling for businesses or content creators. In my experience, it is exceedingly difficult to get a user to leave Instagram to follow an external link.
Despite being purchased by Facebook, somehow Instagram has continued in the right direction. Although Facebook’s touches are starting to show up everywhere. Especially now that ad placement has opened up to anyone willing to pay the outrageous prices. You didn’t think Facebook was going to keep it as a revenue-less product did you?
Sure, these are just my high level observations and the conversation could go on for days about the reasons for all the arguments I have just made. But all this leads me to believe there is a possibility to stir all the good things about these 3 platforms into one perfect melting pot to create the optimal social media experience.
These are just my thoughts, feel free to disagree in the comments!