Do you remember that day when we logged into Facebook and realized the “is” was gone? We were all so pleased that we had been heard. That Facebook was changing and accommodating our demands. But how quickly the best intentions spiral out of control. The removal of the “is” seemed to open a floodgate of constant “improvements” by the Facebook team. Privacy settings, advertising, groups, fan pages, news feeds. Nothing was safe.
Flash forward to Google launching the “dynamic homepage” with background imagery. Folks, blissfully unaware of the change, navigated their way to their favorite search engine expecting to see the familiar, clean, white and simple layout. Many were so put off by hideous image selection muddying up the page, and so Google went back to normal the very next day. (But they left dynamic homepage as an option down at the bottom of the page.)
And just recently, Gmail introduced their Priority Inbox. Google will track the emails that you open and interact with, then based on that information, they will tag which emails you will probably want to read right away with a gold arrow. And don’t get me started on Google Instant. A whole new way to search that will shave off a whopping second or two from each search.
And finally today; the “New, Re-engineered Twitter”. Oh God. Apparently it will be an easier, faster and richer experience. Now I’ll admit, Twitter as a site was pretty bad. If you wanted to use it effectively, you needed to download Tweetdeck or HootSuite. So hopefully the new Twitter will have improved on usability.
Now according to this video, you’ll still see the familiar timeline and layout, but all you need to do to get more info is click on a tweet (is tweet a proper name yet?) and a side panel will jut out to reveal “a handful of information, deeper context and even embedded media”.
Frankly I’m sick of these constant changes. What happened to the good old days where companies got it right BEFORE they launched a product? Why has it become the norm… even enviable for us to be part of the beta testing for these changes? Don’t get me wrong. I’m fully onboard for improvements, streamlining and optimization. But sometimes it seems like changes are made solely for the sake of change, and not progress. Wake me up when you get it right. Until then, I’ll be listening to my iPod Mini and updating my Friendster profile.