Facebook apps: a trifecta of terribleness

Facebook apps: a trifecta of terriblenessFor a company as big as Facebook, one that has such a massive focus on its mobile product, you really have to wonder who’s making all these design decisions at the top.

Facebook has three primary apps, namely plain old Facebook, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, and they all disappoint in their own unique way.

One need only look at the ratings on the App Store to see that I’m not alone here. Facebook: 1.5/5. Facebook Messenger: 1.5/5. WhatsApp: 2.5/5.

To be completely fair, the lifetime rating for each of the three apps is higher, but the current versions clearly suck. And let’s face it; the fact that a previous version was more popular only serves as a further kick in the privates.

Let’s take a closer look at the individual apps:

Facebook apps: a trifecta of terriblenessFacebook

The default setting for Facebook’s mobile News Feed is perhaps best described as garbled. It’s just utterly confounding.

Question: what in the name of fug is wrong with just having all posts in chronological order? Easy to follow, easy to stay on top of, easy to catch up with.

But nope, that’s not good enough for Team Facebook. Instead, you can expect a hotchpotch of stuff from the past several days, presented in what appears to be an entirely random order.

Here’s what I’m seeing right now: posts 29 minutes ago, 23 minutes ago, 25 minutes ago, yesterday at 18:41, yesterday at 15:03, Sunday at 21:07, yesterday at 17:20, 57 minutes ago…

Seemingly Facebook thinks it knows – thanks to some magical formula – what’s most “relevant”, but that formula is a mystery to me.

You can tap More > Most Recent to temporarily put things right, but Facebook will take the first opportunity it can to put paid to such logic. Chronological order, ha!

Facebook apps: a trifecta of terriblenessFacebook Messenger

When there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a service, you know what has to be done, right? Rip that functionality kicking and screaming out of its host, and give it its own app.

Yep, Facebook messages used to be housed within the main Facebook offering, but recently Team Zuckerberg forced everyone to install a separate app.

I say “forced” because you can no longer access your Facebook messages unless you install Facebook Messenger. Thanks, guys!

The logic is that you can now get your messages “faster” (we must be talking milliseconds here), and Facebook also seems to be trying to promote Messenger as a separate service, something akin to WhatsApp. Y’know, the fing what’s owned by Facebook. Jeeees…

Facebook apps: a trifecta of terriblenessWhatsApp

There’s nothing majorly wrong with WhatsApp per se, but that’s because Facebook was smart enough not to tinker with the core functionality. Small mercies and all that.

However, until very recently, you could expect a request to enable notifications EVERY SINGLE TIME YOU OPENED THE APP. As such, jumping in and out of WhatsApp was a veritable 21st century nightmare. Seriously, who thought that was a good idea?

To clarify, in Notification Centre, I’ve got WhatsApp shoved under ‘DO NOT INCLUDE’, but I have allowed badges and sounds, so I get a little ‘1’ on the app and I hear an alert when I get a new message. Is that such a crime?

Again, WhatsApp version 2.11.11 has addressed that particular issue; they’ve “Reduced the frequency of the ‘Turn on notifications’ alert”, but why do I need to see that alert at all? I’ve made my decision, and no amount of hounding is going to change my mind.

If you’ve anything to add about the Facebook mobile apps, by all means, sound off below!

Read more about: iOS

Add a comment

JanSt / MOD  Sep. 23, 2014 at 13:52

I don't get how FB apps could possibly be anything but bad. FB is so bloated and convoluted... oh, why do I even reply here :p

Stelph  Sep. 23, 2014 at 17:01

God, iOS notificaitons, I Could write a whole article myself on how annoying they can be when they do things that you have specifically asked them not to do, and in that im thinking of those apps (mostly games) where no matter what you do to the notifications they still fire up banners etc saying “we need your help on the battlefield” or the like. Unless it’s an app im really enjoying then that’s instant delete for me, I will decide when I will use the app, not you…


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