I was a slow comer into the realm of social networking. It took me a while to get the hang of using MySpace, and then Twitter, and afterward, Facebook. I admit to being on Facebook more than I should some days. I am addicted to a few of the games there, Mafia Wars and Castle Age. I know I am not the only one in my family that has this problem though. My mother plays Bejeweled, my aunt is on Farmville, and I think my fiance’ plays Space Commander (or something like that).
While I love Facebook for communication with family and friends, and for the fun applications, there is something that I cannot stand. It is the endless stream of application notifications. They tend to pop up all the time. I remember one time having over 100+ notifications waiting for me to read them. I just don’t have the time nor do I want to read them in most cases. Even if you only used the application once, the notifications from that application and from every other application you use start going…and going…and going. It can drive a person nuts. When I play Castle Age, I still don’t like the notifications I get after performing an action. Why do I need a note to remind me of what I just did 5 seconds ago? I took a look and there are several groups on Facebook itself all dedicated to the eradication of Facebook application notifications.
Well, I guess the powers that be over at Facebook corporate took notice of this. Facebook has announced that beginning March 1st at 10am Pacific, the website will turn them off. Application developers are being asked to use alternative means of communication with its users such as through news within the Applications and Games dashboard, counters, or Facebook email with the user’s permission.
In Facebook’s own words from their developers blog:
As part of our efforts to improve the quality of your communications with users, we have launched features such as the, the ability to and an . Beginning next Monday, March 1, 2010, at 10AM Pacific time, Facebook will no longer deliver application notifications and will discontinue support for .
In place of notifications, you should:
- Useto notify users that they should take action within your application or integration.
- Setwithin the dashboards to share lightweight messages.
- Ask for the extended permission tousers and send richer, more engaging messages.
In addition, later this year we’ll change howfunction and how are displayed. We’ll also make some lightweight changes to the design of . We’ll update the when we have details finalized, so you should check it for the most current information.
Facebook has been making a lot of changes to their environment over the last few months. There has been its privacy settings, a new user front page (twice they have changed it so far and this latest iteration has a lot of users unhappy…maybe they’ll listen to the uproar again and allow us to go back to the old set up?), and now the disabling of application notifications.
I think its great that Facebook is taking the time to listen to its ever-growing user base when it comes to something like this. By turning off notifications, it will make using Facebook a much more pleasurable user experience. It might even convince people who tried Facebook and hated the notifications to come back and try Facebook again. I know personally, this change will make me be on Facebook even more than I already am. Oops…ok, maybe this isn’t such a good thing after all???