Lately two of the biggest social media sites, Facebook and Twitter, have been rolling out updates and experiments, which is great because we all love new features and improvements. But recently Facebook has had issues with its newest terms of service that caused so much of a stir it had to retract them and revert back to the old version. Now its latest change involves what I can only see as a step very firmly into Twitter’s domain.
Twitter on the other hand has been experiencing a few glitches, and this time it’s not just the appearance of the infamous Fail Whale. While at Think Visibility, I was searching Twitter for the hashtag #thinkvisibility to reveal feedback from delegates real time. It seemed to work well until I saw my friends tweet with the correct use of the hashtag, but noticed their (un-protected) tweets never appearing in the Twitter search results. More recently there have been issues with direct messages being delayed – something I actually first experienced about a month ago – and @ replies going missing.
Do you need trust in order to engage fully with a social media website?
Before I hand over my personal information and fully engage with a social media website, I need to trust it. I don’t know if I’m the only one to feel this way – perhaps I’m in the minority? But seeing the aforementioned glitches and issues has made me lose a bit of trust in social media in general. I want them to work as I find them rewarding and fun to use, both personally and professionally. But how can anyone be expected to trust a website with their personal information when it is not technically sound, can’t decide how it will use the information or has no clear strategy?
With Facebook having more than 175 million active users at time of writing and Twitter growing 1,382% year-over-year in February, that’s a lot of valuable, personal information that should be protected. Facebook is lucky that its users have integrated it so much within their lives that it will be a long time before people begin to quit. Although saying that, I overheard someone yesterday say that they quit it for the exact reasons above. Is the tide turning?
Have you experienced the glitches? If so, have they changed the way you use social media websites?