New Chat Motif
Now, I consider myself to be a very visual person, but I cannot get used to this picture wall on the left side of my Facebook home page. When I want to chat, I am supposed to find the friend I want by looking at these tiny millimeter-wide squares. My first problem with this is that the pictures are too small. How in the world am I supposed to decipher exactly who is in the picture? Facebook is trying to make a person’s thumbnail into an emblem for its entire existence, but it is not working too well in this humble commentator’s opinion.
My second problem regarding thumbnails lies not with Facebook but with its users. Many people change their default pictures way too frequently for me to remember which tiny picture represents them on any given day. Also, certain people tend to use either abstract drawings or off-the-wall popular pictures and think that it is acceptable to the rest of the Facebook community. It is actually a heinous action for which capital punishment should be considered, and it simply multiplies the problems with the Facebook chat picture wall.
Facebook tried to be creative, but the original list format simply makes more sense. I can understand with the advent of Android and the iPhone, icons are all the rage, but in Facebook’s case, it hurts the functionality of the chat. In addition, even with the multitudes of friends on my Facebook, the search functionality just doesn’t get all that much use. Why would I search on the off-chance that a person is online and signed into chat, when I could just look at an easy list? How desperate must someone be to frantically search the person’s name to see if he or she is online?
To add to this chat catastrophe, Facebook removed the timestamps on messages. I now have no idea if a girl has been waiting ten seconds, ten minutes, or ten hours to read my sweet nothings before she goes to sleep. Facebook tried to fix this problem by showing a timestamp when one highlights a message. It is not as convenient as before, but it does save a lot of space in the grand scheme of things.
Facebook believes that it has taken the next step in the evolution of social networking, but I am still skeptical. Facebook created a new groups function which is intended to keep your work and friends networks separate. It is intended to be fully customizable, so for instance, when you post a sexually suggestive picture, it will only go to the people you work with so your other friends won’t figure out how depraved you really are. It works sort of like the previous groups feature, but it builds on them to encompass new features such as group chat and document sharing. I am excited to use this new feature, but I doubt it will be fully adopted by the average Facebook user.
Until next time, friends and future friend requests, I wish you good luck.
*Find Chris Dibbern at http://facebook.com/chris.dibbern
*Join the CDR: The Chris Dibbern Report group & fanpage!