Facebook is the best we've got. Still Facebook has become more of an ad network than a social network, and we need somewhere new to go online. But so far experiments Ello and Tsu have failed to gain real traction. Google+ is certainly a contender, but even with Google's power and money they haven't been able to get G+ over the hump.
So when Facebook rolls out their own 2014 Year In Review video, don't you think they should use their own "My Year" algorithm? Here's what my edit list would look like if I were doing Facebook's Year In Review.
Top 10 Facebook Moments in 2014
- Facebook's Big Social Experiment might make you sad. They're trying to see if showing you sad posts makes you engage with more ads or fewer ads. [Mashable: 1. Facebook "experiment" was legal and 2. Legal experts doubt Facebook has oversight to self-manage.]
- Flocks leave Facebook to seek social elsewhere. [My inclusion in the 99 Days of Freedom campaign: Leaving Facebook for 99 Days – Recovering the Creative Energy uber.la]
- Teens trend more towards Instagram – purchased by Facebook for $1 billion, now valued at $35 billion by citigroup.
- Most people return to Facebook. [And I miss too much without FB: Tired of Facebook Even After a 99 Day Hiatus – uber.la]
- Facebook is now selling your personal information to advertisers outside of Facebook. Prepare for more persistent and nagging ads. [Mashable: Facebook ads to start following you, starting now.]
- Facebook launches anonymous Rooms.me app and no one notices. [Mashable: Rooms launched.
- Facebook tells businesses they are going to pay for their posts that look like ads. (Reveal: they all look like ads.) [Mashable: Overly promotional posts will be suppressed on FB.]
- Facebook reports record profits. [Mashable: Facebook ends the year with all-time stock high.]
- Facebook rolls out year-in-review auto-content maker. Irritates some, saddens many, creates a pseudo warm glow. [A man's reaction when he sees his deceased daughter in Facebook's "My Year" auto-generated post: Inadvertent Algorithmic Cruelty – Eric Meyer and Nobody wants to see your "Look Back" Video – Huffington Post] Super-User Tip: If you want to catch up with someone call them. If you want to do it online, go look at their page.
- Facebook starts a video network, encourages uploading of video to FB rather than YouTube. Promptly uses Vimeo for their own 2014 Year in Review video. Click to watch their own summary, but be sure to pause AdBlock, because, we already know, it's really an ad.
It's been a transitional year for Facebook. Several companies have entered the market to become the "next Facebook" but no one has cracked the code. Zuck and Co. would have to suffer some amazing stumbles to see any really exodus from the ad platform. We can always hope, we can always try other networks, and we can try and beat Facebook into submission with a few privacy and adblocking tools.
If you want to streamline your FB experience these three tools will help.
1. Use AdBlock [https://getadblock.com/] to kill ads from Facebook, YouTube, and most other networks. If I site doesn't work properly, try pausing adblock and see if that fixes the problem.
2. Use Privacy Badger [What is Privacy Badger from EFF?] and control which apps can have cookies and which apps cannot.
3. Add a custom Facebook Ad Filter list to your AdBlock extension. [add this url to your filter lists: http://www.squirrelconspiracy.net/abp/facebook-privacy-list.txt]
Practice safe social out there. Be a student not a troll. Join the conversation.