This is a dual-purpose post. It’s to talk (ok, rave) briefly about Social Fixer, and to draw attention to one of their current campaigns.
Social Fixer is one neat and powerful little free app that Gen turned me onto. It’s the personal project of Matt Kruse and it has one simple objective in mind: FIX FACEBOOK. Social Fixer is the best tool I’ve seen yet that allows you to customize your facebook experience, clean up your Facebook feeds, add new functionality, undo some of Facebook’s “enhancements” and fix some of Facebook’s flubs. The list of features is very impressive, and I love it a lot.
Recently they’ve launched a campaign called “Dear facebook” to urge the social platform to listen to what its users are saying about what they want out of the platform, instead of randomly shoving unwanted changes down the users’ throats. A little focus group feedback goes a long way.
Are you frustrated by Facebook’s News Feed? What do you think about their recent announcement that they will be deciding what is “quality content” for you, and showing you more links to articles and fewer “meme photos”? Do you trust them to be the curator of the content you see?
While I’m limited in what I can accomplish in manipulating the news feed with Social Fixer, I will continue to develop the tools that it offers to keep your news feed useful. I think that tabbing, filtering, and “mark as read”/”mute” all help you manage the news feed far better than Facebook’s automatic algorithms. What do you think?
Facebook is very against any program that alters the news feed, because it wants to maintain full control over what you see. That’s why some of these features are currently broken for some users – they keep changing their code to make it harder for me.
But I want to give users control, and that’s why I’ll continue to work on restoring those features and continuing to enhance them!
I should clarify, I have no great love for facebook, and I’m not doing this out of the kindness of my heart, or some romantic vision of what greatness facebook could achieve if it really tried. I’m doing this so that facebook doesn’t go the way of MySpace or Google+ (just DIE already!) and I have to migrate to yet another social network platform before it’s absolutely necessary. That’s right, I’m doing this entirely in my own self-interest because I’m lazy that way.
Social Fixer has recently had a spat with facebook over one of their features that told you when someone unfriended you. An unfriending can be for many different reasons. It could be accidental, it could be on purpose, it could even happen automatically if an account is inactive for a certain number of days or hours. Facebook doesn’t like apps that report unfriendings, so Facebook forced them to shut this feature down. There has been a bit of a history of facebook not liking Social Fixer and facebook has recently forced Kruse to essentially gut some of the better features from his app under threat of legal action. Kruse is considering an appeal to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, but he has now earned a bit of a reprieve from the legal threat.