5 Changes That Would Greatly Improve Facebook

Many of Facebook's more than 1 billion monthly active users would agree — the site is great, but could use some improvement. As users complain about ads, a cluttered and confusing interface, and several other things, there are a few things that Facebook could implement to make the site much more palatable. Here are five innovations (some possible, some rather imaginative) that we think would improve Facebook.

Many of Facebook’s more than 1 billion monthly active users would agree — the site is great, but could use some improvement. As users complain about ads, a cluttered and confusing interface, and several other things, there are a few things that Facebook could implement to make the site much more palatable. Here are five innovations (some possible, some rather imaginative) that we think would improve Facebook.

1. Topic-Based News Feed Filtering

With its most recent News Feed redesign, Facebook aimed to give users more control over what they see when they first check the site. If you only want to see posts from friends, you can do that. Just want to check the latest news from the pages you’ve liked and celebrities you’re following? Click “Following.” You can even drill down to see posts from lists you’ve curated on Facebook.

But how great would it be if you could filter out discussions you really didn’t want to read in the first place? If you’re sick of reading about politics in your News Feed, or have too many friends who use Facebook as a play-by-play stream during sporting events, you could simply uncheck those options.

It’s not as crazy as you’d think. Facebook is considering adding support for hashtags. You could imagine a world where posts are indexed and organized more by keywords. So if you wanted to block all political content from your News Feed, Facebook could create a filter with the terms Barack, Obama, Democrat, Republican, election, and so on. Additionally, you could also click on these options to only view posts dealing with sports, relationships, and politics.

What you can do for now: Use third-party extensions such as Unbaby.me and Social Fixer.

2. Snopes Integration

It seems like almost on a weekly basis, a celebrity dies on Facebook, Bill Gates gives up his wealth in exchange for shares, or “Facebook” announces that it will close your account unless you pay. It takes only a few seconds to share, and if it’s on the Internet, it’s got to be true, right?

Wrong.

Often, those images and posts that are virally shared throughout Facebook are like the social network equivalent of the childhood game, “Telephone.” Sure it may have been true at one point, but the meaning has changed as more people share and comment. Many times, these are just hoaxes.

If Facebook could include integration with Snopes, a hoax and urban legend clearinghouse, it would greatly cut back on the sharing of false information that really helps no one. Bill Gates isn’t giving away $5,000 if you share an image, Bill Cosby may be tired, but he’s not 83, and Facebook isn’t ending anytime soon.

What you can do for now: Simply check Snopes before sharing something that sounds too good to be true (your friends will thank you for it). We also regularly report hoaxes that get shared on Facebook.

3. Personal Post Analytics

When a Facebook page posts something, the page administrators immediately have analytics available. Although Facebook’s free metrics may be somewhat limited, there are myriad services that can provide much deeper analysis with regard to who sees the posts and how well its being shared.

But for your personal posts, there’s really nothing. While you can pay $7 to promote a post, the analytics don’t really tell you how many people saw it — just a percentage breakdown of paid vs. organic. If you just want to see what kind of reach your posts are getting without paying for a Facebook ad, you’re kind of out of luck. You can see who saw posts in groups, but that information might really come in handy with everyday posts.