Monday, September 24, 2018

Facebook: has Mark Zuckerberg lost his mind?

by Ariel (editor), Venice, CA, September 14, 2006


After public apologies from Mark Zuckerberg about the News Feed feature of Facebook, now announce that they are going to open the website to everyone, hence dropping the admission policy that made the website so popular: students, and students only. And once again, the users are growling.

It's the second time in about 2 weeks that Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook, faces fierce criticism from the 9 million users of his social directory.

On September 5th, Facebook users logging in to their favorite website were welcome by a strange page showing the latest activity of all the people in their friend list. And in most cases, a fair portion of these "friends" are people you barely know and that you wouldn't really want to tell your whole life. The feature was deemed completely unwelcome and unnecessary by most.
A huge controversy followed, with people joining "Please bring the old Facebook back" groups, and actual demonstrations planned in front of the headquarters of the company. A couple of days later, Zuckerberg admitted in an open letter to the Facebook users that he "seriously messed this on up".

Only 2 weeks later, Facebook now announces that they are going to open the network to everyone, i.e. drop the student-only admission policy that made the website's success. More cautious this time, Zuckerberg just posted a note on homepage of Facebook clarifying how this new feature wouldn't change anything for the current users as they would still be part of college networks, independent from the others. However, in his note Zuckerberg pretty much admits that he's not sure to understand why people are complaining so much about the new changes and asks for feedback.

Is pushing this second major change to Facebook so early after the incident of the 5th a very smart move? I'm not sure. Users have been severely disoriented lately and need to get accustomed to the new version of a website that had barely evolved in its first years of existence. And did anyone complain about the good old Facebook? I don't think so.

Is Zuckerberg taking advantage of this state of confusion to push this second change to the website unnoticed? There doesn't seem be much to lose now in terms of user satisfaction, and it could actually be smarter to do it now rather than later.
Facebook groups called things like "PETITION!!!!!!!! STOP FACEBOOK FROM GOING GLOBAL" have already been created and see their number of members growing pretty fast.

Will students win this battle against their favorite website? I guess we will have the answer in the very near future...

About the Writer

Ariel is an editor for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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2 comments on Facebook: has Mark Zuckerberg lost his mind?

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By Rosescu on September 16, 2006 at 04:51 am
I am losing all faith in Facebook, and I went in recently to clear out my profile. It was so much better as a closed network student site, that was its appeal, and now its just too intrusive for my likes!
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By TonyBerkman on October 26, 2009 at 10:11 pm

They appear to be making some great moves now.  I much prefer using fb to follow what's going on across the social web to twitter as it seems to have swallowed up twitter - at least for the purpose of seeing what the people who I care about are saying.

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