Recently I wrote about some new privacy features which Facebook will be introducing in the coming week, but they have again disappointed people like me with the new sidebar ticker which can be seen on the Facebook home page. The sidebar ticker keeps updating in realtime and shows you all the activity of your friends. Hence, whatever you do on Facebook is seen in the Facebook sidebar ticker. I still have some mixed thoughts with the sidebar ticker. I like it for some reasons and I hate it for some.
Why I like the Facebook Sidebar Ticker
When I saw it for the first time, I found it interesting. It had been showing me all the activity of my friends, some people love to know what their friends are up to 😉 I am one among them and would like to know what my friends are doing on the social network. Since it is a social network, your activity is public and it is nothing wrong if it is seen by your friends. Moreover, I can view the photos people share just by clicking on the update in the sidebar, and the photo pops up beautifully. Not only photos, but even links and other updates pop up in a beautiful fashion so that we do not need to open a person’s profile to view it. You can also directly comment on those updates from the sidebar which is again easy and very simple.
Why I hate the Facebook Sidebar Ticker
If I say that I found it interesting when I saw it for the first time, it was because I didn’t realize that my friends are seeing it too. And hence, all my activity on Facebook is visible to all my friends. I seriously do not bother if it is exposed to my friends as I do not comment or post anything private on Facebook. But there might be some situations when I want to post a comment and do not want my friend to know about it! This is possible only if the update is hidden from him or if he is not online. As the ticker keeps updating, my activity would have moved down and hence not visible. This will also pose a problem if you have your boss and a colleague in your friends list or your ex and present girlfriend in your friends list 😉 I hope you can understand the complexity of such situations when your social activity affects your personal life.
The Facebook sidebar would have been better if it could show you the activity taking place between your own friends. By this, I mean the ticker should show an update only when a friend of yours comments on an update of another friend of yours. This would make your social life and also your personal life much simpler 😉 What do you think?