Photo: andresr (Getty Images)
Facebook is an interesting creature. It’s a big part of millions of people’s lives, while simultaneously being completely loathed by those very same people. Every year the massive tech company tries to spread it’s awkwardly misshapen wings, only to have the world clap back in anger, shouting “stay in your lane, Facebook!” Well, now Facebook is returning to its roots as a ‘hot-or-not’ relationship interface, as it launches a new feature for it’s dating app, called Secret Crush, in which users can select up to nine “friends” to express interest in. If one of your gaggle of crushes also selects you as a secret crush, identities are revealed, and unabashed boning can ensue. Theoretically.
While Facebook is admittedly very useful for engaging in vitriolic political rants with strangers, digitally stalking people you just met, and reconnecting with that girl you dated briefly back in the eighth grade, it isn’t very handy at much else. And based on its history, we’re betting something will soon go horribly wrong with Secret Crush, adding yet another corpse to the graveyard of Facebook fails below. Oh, 21st century, how we love thee.
Check out the big balls on Facebook. When they tried to replace HTML with their own visual language, it was not considered an improvement and was quickly tossed out the window.
One of the greatest Facebook fails of all-time, “Beacon” was the Big Bang of online consumer privacy wars. Created as a way to share consumer habits and purchases with the world as a sort of unpaid brand endorsement, the feature ruined Christmas and led to a multi-million dollar lawsuit in 2009.
Does the world really need two Snapchats? Or even one? Poke, a messaging app where messages disappeared after ten seconds, came and went faster than a…well, poke.
All of us at one time or another, have had a sneaking suspicion that Facebook is data-mining our information and repurposing it in all kinds of nefarious ways. The autofill feature came in 2013 and was quickly ignored. Because who would ever want a corporate gypsy like Facebook to have their credit card information?
Wait, what? Not ringing a bell? That’s because AT&T couldn’t give their HTC phones away. Even after lowering the price to $1, the product tanked faster than a keg-standing eight-year-old.
Plucky as ever, Facebook attempted to double down on the failure of the HTC by partnering with Android to throw a Facebook skin over their devices. It went over about as well as U2’s free album on iTunes. Hated at first, then totally cold-shouldered.
The ‘Dislike’ Button
In one of the more ironic twists of fate, the ‘dislike’ button was created, then quickly used on itself. Talk about poetic justice.
Another ploy to monetize people’s innocent, mindless scrolling, Facebook employed “sponsored stories” to use our “likes” as brand testimonials, essentially weaseling more unpaid endorsements of miscellaneous products. Oh yeah, but they forgot to ask our permission, and another lawsuit foiled the plot.
Back when Foursquare was a thing (so people could know where you were having brunch) Facebook hopped on the bandwagon of useless apps and gave us “Places.” Because the app served no purpose, and Foursquare did it better, Places was scrapped before the lox and cream cheese hit the table.
Early on in the Facebook days, there was a feature where users could set their relationship goals. By tweaking the parameters of your settings, you could search for a serious relationship with a 30-year-old woman, or click the box marked “Anything I can get.” Romantic as the setup was, it failed to take off.
Unfortunately, what started out as a tool for secret admirers to anonymously profess their love for another quickly turned into a tool for bullying. Why must sweet, sweet love be trampled by the boots of hatred? Nice try, Facebook.
Facebook Credits (The Failed Bitcoin)
Never forget, Facebook is a tool for big companies to capitalize on market share. Before Bitcoin took the world by storm, Mark Zuckerberg attempted to create a currency using FarmVille and other FB games wherein people could buy useless items within the game. The experience proved anti-social and in reality, didn’t carry much value in the wider world. A good idea, in the hands of Facebook, becomes yet another fail.
I Started Facebook
Yes, you did, Mark. Yes, you did. Thanks for reminding us.
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