Nov 19, 2010

Dear Facebook,

Groups suck.

They really do. A friend of mine remarked how he liked the fact that his Facebook chat window was grouped in some manner. I thought I might like this idea too. I found the first thing in the Facebook UI and excitedly clicked it. I gleefully added 55 friends to this group. Some of these people are closer personal friends, some are just acquaintances. The common thread was that I met them at work or that they work in the same industry and the goal was that I could separate the random design stuff I find interesting from the family moments and personal stuff out. Not that they couldn't mix, but I wanted to be able to be more targeted about who I was talking to.

My group, Werk Friends, with it's comically misspelled "work" was going to simply allow me to send messages and posts to certain people. I didn't.

After setting up the group I was excited to see someone post to the group. I was a little surprised to get an email about it but I shrugged it off. I was then surprised to see a random friend comment on the post. I was also surprised, and this time a little annoyed, to get an email about the comment.

Upon receiving the third email, this time from a friend in SF who was confused and asking if the original post was something in SF, I was done.

Upon learning that every time ANYONE posted something to the group EVERYONE got an email, I was LIVID. WTF?

This isn't how groups work, Facebook. If I add something to a group, it is for my own organizational purposes. If YOU join a group, it is because you want to be in it and participate in it. Automatically sending someone an email about group posts just because someone else added them to the group is dumb.

Instead of just getting emails about posts, my friends should have gotten an email saying, "hey, do you want to be a part of Dave's group? Oh, and do you want to get an email about every frickin' post?"

This seems like a small thing, and in the end it really isn't the end of the world. But, as someone who cares about what I say to people and more importantly doesn't want to waste anyone's time, this is a major blunder.

To add insult to injury, when I went to delete the group I found out there was no "one-click" way to do it. After wandering around the UI trying to find a "delete group" button I finally visited the Facebook Help Center. I guess groups are automatically deleted if they have no members. All you have to do is delete all the members and the admin. ONE AT A TIME. So, 55 member deletes later (each requiring 2 clicks with a move of the mouse in between), my group is still there. I guess it will be deleted automatically... later?

And hopefully my friends didn't get a message saying they were deleted. Wait. They probably did, didn't they.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Agreed. Groups suck

As currently implemented.

All they need to do is give the group admin the ability to turn of email notifications. Seems pretty simple. I won't use Groups until they do.