Here are some screen shots I’ve taken of weird things on Facebook lately.
In this one, I was checking on Intel’s then-new Timeline, and a Facebook friend’s post mentioning the word “intel” showed up on the right side of the page. Notice that she didn’t tag the company and that the post was from November, five months before March 27 (when I took this screen shot). Strange, huh? I’m betting this is a feature Facebook is testing and/or offering to big brands in preparation for going public.
The next one asked me how close I was to one of my Facebook friends, to “help us show you more interesting updates.” I don’t love the idea of Facebook asking me this, or deciding what I see, or determining in any way what is interesting to me from one moment to the next. I mean, I get EdgeRank and all of that, but this seems a little creepy to me. It’s even creepier somehow because they only asked me about one person. I don’t know.
The last one showed up at the top of my News Feed tonight, and it’s actually something that interests me. There are five trending news stories that your friends have read, and you can click through them. Interestingly enough, this was gone ten minutes after I grabbed this shot.
I haven’t done any research or due diligence on these weird little features, so for all I know they are part of a well-documented campaign Facebook is running. I just think it’s interesting to track the many tweaks and tests as they appear and disappear without warning.
Have you noticed anything odd like this on Facebook? Do any of these features resonate with you or make your skin crawl?