Things That Annoy Me

For the sake of keeping this blog post brief, I’ll focus on things that annoy me specifically about social media. I took a simple survey of some of my friends (ages 20-25) and asked them what frustrates them about their favorite social media platforms. How is it possible that these companies spend millions of dollars on UX research and design but still can’t seem to get it right? I came across this article from 2013 in Complex Magazine. Although some of these suggestions have actually been implemented, some are extremely unrealistic (as they were meant to be).

Instagram

I think Instagram ran out of good ideas so they began to just add other platforms’ functions to their own. Of the 400 accounts I follow on Instagram, only 2 accounts routinely use the Instagram story function. Snapchat built themselves on a niche and slightly weird idea. Taking this original concept and adding it on to an entirely different platform didn’t seem to sit well with its users. TechCrunch perfectly summarizes the flaws of Instagram stories.

Instagram Stories lacks the quality of Snapchat Stories. There are no geofilters, animated selfie lenses, 3D stickers, speed effects or screenshot alerts. The camera isn’t the default home screen for spontaneous recording. And uploads don’t go as smoothly.”

Snapchat was meant for our low-quality posts that weren’t good enough for our high-quality Instagram.

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A second Instagram complaint I received was their transition from “likes” to “views” on videos. No one on Instagram cares about “views” (let’s be honest, it’s all about the likes). Although you can click to see the likes, the default for videos shows views. For the unpopular Instagram accounts, it’s quiet depressing to see hundreds of views but only a few likes. Let’s leave the views to Youtube.

Facebook

Facebook has implemented a lot of changes in the past few years that have really frustrated its users. But most of the time, we forget about these changes days after they happen. Facebook Messenger has been constantly evolving. For iPhone users like me who are always running out of memory, having to download a second app for messenger left me messenger-less for months. However, in the past year, Facebook has implemented a new method of messaging users when someone accepts their friend request. Why do I need two separate notifications telling me that someone added me? Why would I add someone on Facebook and then “Send a message to say hello!”. Unless you’re over the age of 45, I highly doubt this is how you’re using Facebook.

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Snapchat

I was anti-Snapchat for a really long time. I didn’t quite see the point of it and it seemed like people were oversharing every small detail of their life. But I eventually caved and joined the Snapchat community. I use it mostly to send annoying snaps to friends and very rarely post a story. When I do send a snap, it’s typically to the same 12 friends. Another source of frustration: why can’t I create “groups” in Snapchat instead of individually clicking on the exact same names every single time? Let’s say I send 4 snaps in one day to 12 friends. That means I click on their names 48 times in one day! With a group function, that would only be 4. Snapchat has also rolled out some big changes in their story functions. The most common feedback I received from my friends was the continuous loop of snap stories. If I click on one friend’s snap story, it doesn’t mean I also want to watch all 20 stories following it. You end up in a vicious cycle of stories that you have to finish watching (mostly because the person can see that you stopped watching half way through).

FaceTime

This one is simple. Why can’t I FaceTime multiple people at the same time the way Google Hangouts can? I’m sure Apple has a reason for this but I think this is a clear area for improvement.

Yelp

If I’m trying to decide between two restaurants, my immediate reaction is to check the Yelp reviews and ratings. But my friends and I are skeptical of the accuracy of the system. According to an article published in 2015, almost 17% of Yelp reviews are “filtered” out. The filtering works by its own Yelp algorithm. But how do we know these customers actually ate at the restaurant? It seems like there should be a verification process to filter out theses fake customers. Perhaps reviewers can use the Yelp app to scan their receipt as a form of authenticity. Either way, it seems that we rely on Yelp so heavily without really paying attention to it’s large margin of error.

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Although my friend survey was far smaller than the research these big platforms conduct, I think there are some real pain points that these companies have an opportunity to improve. Hopefully at least 1 of these suggestions will be pushed out in a future update.

*Thank you Instagram for finally introducing a zoom function so my mom doesn’t keep telling me that the zoom is broken on my phone

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images: Facebook MessengerZoom gif

 

 

 

 

10 comments

  1. mikeknoll98 · ·

    I think your comments about Yelp are extremely intriguing. I do not remember if it was in this class or another, but I remember hearing about how much revenue difference just one Yelp star makes. While Yelp probably tries to stop fake posts, I agree and think there needs to be a better process in place to provide more accurate and true customer reviews.

  2. cattybradley · ·

    Great post – I think it is really interesting how sometimes adopting a feature is preferred whereas other times it is met with negativity. I think multi-way Facetime chats would be great because that is my go-to app, not Google hangouts. But as you pointed out, Instagram’s story feature was an adaptation of Snapchat’s feature that didn’t please users. Companies have to balance adopting practices and reinventing their own products. Also, I am so thankful for the zooming on Instagram – my mom would always tell me my phone was broken too!

  3. First of all, I would like to commend you on the way this blog post was written. It was a very humorous take on social media and added a spin that all 20-25 year olds could relate to.

    I think your strongest point that you mentioned has to do with Yelp just due to the implementations that it could have on other platforms. Having an algorithm that automatically filters out reviews is not only “annoying” but frightening, as the algorithm could show biases and sway the ratings(Yelp’s history for paying to remove bad reviews doesn’t help). In a larger scale, Facebook and Google’s algorithms also share a transparency issue like Yelp, but to a greater extent. When monetization gets difficult in the future, who knows how the algorithm will shift.

    I think you can definitely improve the blog by adding all the data and responses that you got from your survey. There were a couple of parts like when talking about the annoyances of Facebook that it got confusing whether you were basing it off your survey or your own opinion. However, overall this blog was well written and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

  4. Aditya Murali · ·

    Awesome post! The Instagram stories feature is also something that pissed me off to no end. For a while, I was even curious about the legality of the same thing, since it’s literally a carbon copy of Snapchat. This also reminded me of the time they introduced video, which was clearly a response to Vine’s surging popularity. It seems like Instagram has a history of copying other people’s ideas!

    I also really like your idea for snapchat. A group feature would be so great since I also only snap the same 8 people every day! Since we currently have to choose each individual person, I can’t even count how many times I’ve accidentally sent a snap to the wrong person. There are certainly many improvements to be made on all these social media platforms, but to be honest, it’s not urgent or a top priority for these companies, because they know we’re not going to stop using their apps!

  5. vicmoriartybc · ·

    I find every one of these things that annoy you very relatable, especially the Instagram video one. I personally have refrained from posting videos on Instagram simply because, as you said, it’s all about the likes, and I don’t want to have to click on my post to see how many likes it got. Another social media pet peeve of mine is how slow I find the Facebook “Trending” section on the right side of my newsfeed. I feel like it only gets updated a few times per week, rather than several times per day. For example, one of the top stories today is something related to Ellen Degeneres that happened on Sunday, but there is nothing about Brangelina, which seems like a serious error in the algorithm. Overall, great post and I totally agree with your annoyances!

  6. Great idea to survey your friends. The only point I’d push back on is your FB comment that “unless you’re over the age of 45, I doubt you’re using Facebook that way.” The average age of Facebook users is 40 years old, with 65+ being the fastest growing demographic. Don’t assume that the college student way of using SM is somehow the best (or supporting it the most profitable).

  7. ikechukwu_28 · ·

    I enjoyed this post thoroughly, as I can relate to many of the complaints that you brought up. In particular, the complaints about Facebook Messenger really spoke to me; that app has frustrated me too many times to count.

  8. Great post! I think the way you crafted this post was very creative. I like that you used your friends to gather information. I also love how relatable this post was. As I was reading through it, all I could think was “yes”, “totally”, “ugh, so true”, “you get me”, and so on. Although I am sure these massive tech giants know that they are doing, after all they are composed of very smart people, I think they should really listen to the consumer. Personally, this is why I am a huge fan of market research becasue at the end of the day, the consumer will always tell you what they want. All you have to do is listen. Sometimes it may not be what you want to hear, but listen. P.S. yes, I agree. Thank you insta!! Now my mom can stop accidentally liking my friends pictures trying to zoom into them.

  9. Really cool idea to survey your friends in order to get more insight into the shortcomings of these apps. I totally agree with all of your grievances- especially the lack of a snap chat group feature and facebook messenger. I hate when the excitement of thinking I received a new message is crushed by the “you are now friends with so-and-so. Say hello!” automation. On the topic of Yelp I would add that their entire user platform in my opinion could be updated. I know I am not the only one among my friends who finds the app a bit tough to navigate, and not as accessible as an app created for the purpose of efficient and reliable quick-finds. Thanks for sharing!

  10. daniellep2153 · ·

    Great Post! I feel the same way about Instagram story. The only people I know that really use it is celebrities. If I see friends use it, it’s usually just the same picture/video they used on their Snapchat story. And life would be so much easier if Snapchat added groups. I tend to snap the same people anyway and I feel that a lot of other users would love to see that new feature. It seems to me that these companies may need to spend a little more money on research to figure out which additions would be really appreciated and which ones will annoy their customers. Thanks for being so honest in your post! I’m sure a lot of people share a lot of the same thoughts.

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