Facebook Experiments Log — 1

I am not a Facebook hater.

Imran Parvez

Day minus 10

I've had more than 800 friends in Facebook on the day I decided to crunch my friend list. An experiment I dint know what it was aimed at or where it would lead me. I wanted to observe what happens to my Facebook when I use it the way its not meant for.

I unfriended all the friends I had, wrote down their names in a Google doc by grouping them into categories which ranged from “Batch mates I interact” to “Don’t know or don’t recognize.” I left each one of them a message so that they do not get offended. Most of the replies I got are “lol.”

Replies to my Facebook experiment

Day minus 4

It took longer than expected to remove friends for several reasons. Primarily being, sending message to each person. Meanwhile I observed some of the interesting things in Facebook friend search.

  • There is a limit of no. of times you can send the same message in a particular time interval. After which a captcha is shown to determine whether you are a bot or a human.
  • You can search not just by name but by relationship (brother, sister, etc) and also by nick name.
  • If you just searched one or two alphabet and waited, the search results show the most interacted ones on the top which is quite obvious, but it also shows the most recently added friend on the top. The no. of friends shown is always 10 or less than 10 for any friend search.
  • News Feed shows only activity within a week or may be less I’m not sure. Everything beyond a week is shown only on individual persons profiles.

Day minus 1

New features as friend count decreases

With less than 200 friends Facebook activates a new button on the header and two in the sidebar. Welcome came only after my friend count was less than 20.

During these ten days the time i spent on facebook gradually decreased, owing to the fact that I knew there was nothing much there for me to keep visiting several times a day. I could catch up on all the updates once a day or once in two days.

Day 0 (now)

I've only got the closest of family and friends in my Facebook. Every thing on my News feed feels relevant. Things I've observed while making my family and close friends list:

  • Facebook makes a lot of choices for us without intimating us. When I added a person in my family list it changed the “see which updates” section to “Most updates.” It never bothered to ask or even inform though.
  • Facebook by default makes visible all updates from your close friends list and most updates from your family list.

Facebook deciding for me was good, but not telling me what choice was made is not so good after all.

  • I like to use facebook primarily as a means to share my life and stay connected with people I care about. So I went ahead and removed the kind of updates I am not interested to see.
Type of updates
  • There are a bunch updates from which you can pick from. If you are annoyed of all the game requests you get. Then here is where the key is to unsubscribe from the game requests from the person and not hide him altogether.

My experiment has just started and I think it will take longer than I expected. I am not sure what the experiments will lead to, but I am making a lot of observations. If you have suggestions on what I can experiment please leave a note.

I am Imran Parvez, a Digital Product Designer. I observe human patterns and real life activities and build platforms that engages them in the easiest way possible. Sometimes I do envision products that are made for the future.

    Imran Parvez

    Written by

    Designer @Atlassian & @Thisisspartez working on developer tools.

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