Facebook Sucks, Dave Winer says

Dave Winer wrote: Why Facebook Sucks.

Can’t say I disagree.

I think it sucks because it isn’t scalable and falls apart at 5,000 contacts. It pisses me off more and more every day because of that scaling wall.

Damn I wish I hadn’t locked my rolodex in this trunk.

Comments

  1. Why isn’t there an “export” facebook app? Is it possible to write something that reads all contact data from your contacts and writes it somewhere else?

  2. Why isn’t there an “export” facebook app? Is it possible to write something that reads all contact data from your contacts and writes it somewhere else?

  3. ***LOOKING FOR A FACEBOOK DEVELOPER***

    I think those of us that were fortunate enough to have connected with Scoble and become “friends” with him on Facebook owe ourselves the recognition.

    As such, I’m looking for a Facebook developer that can dedicate a couple hours to make a quick application that will put an icon on someone’s profile stating they are part of the “Scoble 5000″.

    ***If interested, leave your contact information here and we’ll move forward!****

  4. ***LOOKING FOR A FACEBOOK DEVELOPER***

    I think those of us that were fortunate enough to have connected with Scoble and become “friends” with him on Facebook owe ourselves the recognition.

    As such, I’m looking for a Facebook developer that can dedicate a couple hours to make a quick application that will put an icon on someone’s profile stating they are part of the “Scoble 5000″.

    ***If interested, leave your contact information here and we’ll move forward!****

  5. Haha, so you admited that you’re using Facebook as a Rolodex…

    If you’re following Google and the next social networking, you should know that the current version of Orkut has a limit of 1000 “friends”. I don’t know if they are gonna upgrade this limit, so consider advised.

  6. Haha, so you admited that you’re using Facebook as a Rolodex…

    If you’re following Google and the next social networking, you should know that the current version of Orkut has a limit of 1000 “friends”. I don’t know if they are gonna upgrade this limit, so consider advised.

  7. Ok, Scoble… we get it! Facebook doesn’t let you add more than 5000 contacts. How many more blog posts must be dedicated to this fact?

  8. Ok, Scoble… we get it! Facebook doesn’t let you add more than 5000 contacts. How many more blog posts must be dedicated to this fact?

  9. Hmm… Robert, you saying that Facebook sucks because it limits you to 5K contacts is like me saying that Aston Martins suck because I want one but can’t afford it.

    I don’t even see why you’d want to have 5000 contacts or more anyway: if you added them to see what they’re up to, you’ll never have time to keep up; if you added them to let them know what you’re up to, you might as well have your own website which will easily scale to millions if needed… Oh, you already do!

  10. Hmm… Robert, you saying that Facebook sucks because it limits you to 5K contacts is like me saying that Aston Martins suck because I want one but can’t afford it.

    I don’t even see why you’d want to have 5000 contacts or more anyway: if you added them to see what they’re up to, you’ll never have time to keep up; if you added them to let them know what you’re up to, you might as well have your own website which will easily scale to millions if needed… Oh, you already do!

  11. I’m wondering how biased your view on FaceBook is because you’re not your everyday user. Although I would agree that FB should be scalable (in an ‘Uh, I guess’ sort of way), is it really that much of a problem? I would suspect that it’s not much of a deal to everyone save a few high profile bloggers who seem to have thousands of relationships to other individuals.

  12. I’m wondering how biased your view on FaceBook is because you’re not your everyday user. Although I would agree that FB should be scalable (in an ‘Uh, I guess’ sort of way), is it really that much of a problem? I would suspect that it’s not much of a deal to everyone save a few high profile bloggers who seem to have thousands of relationships to other individuals.

  13. @Jaap

    There are also some very low profile bloggers who have tens of thousands of relationships to other individuals.

    I am still wondering why Gmail limits my contacts to 10,000 addresses.

  14. @Jaap

    There are also some very low profile bloggers who have tens of thousands of relationships to other individuals.

    I am still wondering why Gmail limits my contacts to 10,000 addresses.

  15. @Jaap

    Actually, not understanding the difference between:

    “relationships to …”

    and

    “relationships with …”

    may be exactly why some people don’t understand the problem of these limits on connectivity.

  16. @Jaap

    Actually, not understanding the difference between:

    “relationships to …”

    and

    “relationships with …”

    may be exactly why some people don’t understand the problem of these limits on connectivity.

  17. delete people you dont really know. Dont hype up facebook to everyone then 3 weeks later say it sucks. If you have 100-200 , 500 contacts, it works just fine.

  18. delete people you dont really know. Dont hype up facebook to everyone then 3 weeks later say it sucks. If you have 100-200 , 500 contacts, it works just fine.

  19. @Steve
    I only keep people who I have had a conversation (in person or online) within the last year or two in my Address Book.

    There are over 11,000 people in there.

  20. @Steve
    I only keep people who I have had a conversation (in person or online) within the last year or two in my Address Book.

    There are over 11,000 people in there.

  21. “I am still wondering why Gmail limits my contacts to 10,000 addresses.”

    Because having limits allows them to plan, and 10,000 is certainly a reasonable limit for contacts.

  22. “I am still wondering why Gmail limits my contacts to 10,000 addresses.”

    Because having limits allows them to plan, and 10,000 is certainly a reasonable limit for contacts.

  23. Tim: it’s NOT a reasonable limit. I know businesses with hundreds of thousands of contacts. Chris Pirillo has that many too for his email newsletters.

    Buzz Bruggeman has 12,000 in Outlook. Yet another example of how Google isn’t ready for Enterprise users.

  24. Tim: it’s NOT a reasonable limit. I know businesses with hundreds of thousands of contacts. Chris Pirillo has that many too for his email newsletters.

    Buzz Bruggeman has 12,000 in Outlook. Yet another example of how Google isn’t ready for Enterprise users.

  25. There are a few of us out there who don’t use facebook or any other closed social network, and object to our “friends” who give our email addresses to facebook. There are other people who prefer the other closed social networks such as Orkut, 360, myspace, friendster, linkedin, etc. Ihe list seems to expand every year in response to the whims of the online community, so why would you tie your rolodex to a technology that will probably be deprecated in a few years?

  26. There are a few of us out there who don’t use facebook or any other closed social network, and object to our “friends” who give our email addresses to facebook. There are other people who prefer the other closed social networks such as Orkut, 360, myspace, friendster, linkedin, etc. Ihe list seems to expand every year in response to the whims of the online community, so why would you tie your rolodex to a technology that will probably be deprecated in a few years?

  27. I noticed the other day that half of my newsfeed were ads for various apps that pulled names out of my friend’s list to act like they’d done something that I should respond to.

    Visions of Fonzie on waterskis came to mind…

  28. I noticed the other day that half of my newsfeed were ads for various apps that pulled names out of my friend’s list to act like they’d done something that I should respond to.

    Visions of Fonzie on waterskis came to mind…

  29. Re: “you own your address book”. You don’t own the data, once you give it to Facebook to keep on their servers. Why this expectation that they shouldn’t do what you agreed to in the terms of service? If you don’t like it, then don’t use Facebook to publish your information. But complaining that it doesn’t work well, for uses they did not intend, won’t get you any sympathy.

    Re: “5000 isn’t enough”. The solution to this is real simple: unfriend the vast majority of “friends” with whom you have no relationship, keeping the ones you actually value. I would imagine every “celebrity” finds they have to do this. To everyone else, publish in a channel that was meant for the traffic.

  30. Re: “you own your address book”. You don’t own the data, once you give it to Facebook to keep on their servers. Why this expectation that they shouldn’t do what you agreed to in the terms of service? If you don’t like it, then don’t use Facebook to publish your information. But complaining that it doesn’t work well, for uses they did not intend, won’t get you any sympathy.

    Re: “5000 isn’t enough”. The solution to this is real simple: unfriend the vast majority of “friends” with whom you have no relationship, keeping the ones you actually value. I would imagine every “celebrity” finds they have to do this. To everyone else, publish in a channel that was meant for the traffic.

  31. I think the point here is that FB, by limiting contacts to 5k, is limiting the type of social networking tool / site it means to be. Probably a mistake on their part I’d have thought – the more freedom people are given the better they like things.

  32. I think the point here is that FB, by limiting contacts to 5k, is limiting the type of social networking tool / site it means to be. Probably a mistake on their part I’d have thought – the more freedom people are given the better they like things.

  33. @Robert: Why is 10,000 contact on Gmail a limit? You mention businesses with hundreds of thousands of contacts as a reason why, but how many businesses use Gmail as their corporate email?

  34. @Robert: Why is 10,000 contact on Gmail a limit? You mention businesses with hundreds of thousands of contacts as a reason why, but how many businesses use Gmail as their corporate email?

  35. Why would a co-author of “A Bill of Rights for Users of the Social Web” have to wait for Dave Winer to do a blog post to know that Facebook is a fairly closed system? (Not to mention a big waist of time for anyone who would rather communicate with their friends than “poke” them)?

  36. Why would a co-author of “A Bill of Rights for Users of the Social Web” have to wait for Dave Winer to do a blog post to know that Facebook is a fairly closed system? (Not to mention a big waist of time for anyone who would rather communicate with their friends than “poke” them)?

  37. The 5,000 friend limit may suck for you, but how many other people are bumping against that limit? If that’s your primary reason for saying that Facebook sucks, then I think that you are not accurately reflecting the way most people are using Facebook. Granted, we may all want to have 5,000+ friends at some point in the future, but as of today, I don’t think that’s an issue for very many people. If it were, I think the folks there would be making it more of a priority to resolve. I’ve been a reader of your blog for a long time and I’m kinda tired of your harping on this one issue about Facebook as it is not (currently) a drawback for the vast majority of its users – mostly you.

  38. The 5,000 friend limit may suck for you, but how many other people are bumping against that limit? If that’s your primary reason for saying that Facebook sucks, then I think that you are not accurately reflecting the way most people are using Facebook. Granted, we may all want to have 5,000+ friends at some point in the future, but as of today, I don’t think that’s an issue for very many people. If it were, I think the folks there would be making it more of a priority to resolve. I’ve been a reader of your blog for a long time and I’m kinda tired of your harping on this one issue about Facebook as it is not (currently) a drawback for the vast majority of its users – mostly you.

  39. Robert: Facebook is intended for real people. “Robert Scoble” isn’t a real person anymore… he’s a public identity. Similarly, a business isn’t a real person… it may be an entity for tax purposes, but it ain’t a person.

    For that sorta thing, you want MySpace. It happily embraces the notion of “people-as-marketing-tools”, and as Tila Tequila can attest, you can have way, way more than 5,000 friends.

  40. Robert: Facebook is intended for real people. “Robert Scoble” isn’t a real person anymore… he’s a public identity. Similarly, a business isn’t a real person… it may be an entity for tax purposes, but it ain’t a person.

    For that sorta thing, you want MySpace. It happily embraces the notion of “people-as-marketing-tools”, and as Tila Tequila can attest, you can have way, way more than 5,000 friends.

  41. @address book discussion – yes the API is there to pull your profile. I guess no one has done it because Facebook devs don’t want you to leave Facebook?

    I love the way people take a free personal service and say it doesn’t scale to business/enterprise proportions. It’s no more Facebook’s fault for not monetising their community ‘properly’ than it is Scoble’s fault for not monetising his database. And seriously, anyone who wants enterprise services (5000 plus) should pay enterprise rates for enterprise scaleability. ie. you get what you pay for, the new economy notwithstanding.

  42. @address book discussion – yes the API is there to pull your profile. I guess no one has done it because Facebook devs don’t want you to leave Facebook?

    I love the way people take a free personal service and say it doesn’t scale to business/enterprise proportions. It’s no more Facebook’s fault for not monetising their community ‘properly’ than it is Scoble’s fault for not monetising his database. And seriously, anyone who wants enterprise services (5000 plus) should pay enterprise rates for enterprise scaleability. ie. you get what you pay for, the new economy notwithstanding.

  43. Do you ever disagree with Winer? :) I guess you don’t want him on your bad side or he’ll turn on you faster than Dr Jekyll.

  44. Do you ever disagree with Winer? :) I guess you don’t want him on your bad side or he’ll turn on you faster than Dr Jekyll.

  45. So Facebook is now not the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, as you had been preaching for the last few months? ;)

    Your famed edge-case temper-tantrums not working? Wait til Ballmer gets a piece, then you can complain to Microsoft.

  46. So Facebook is now not the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, as you had been preaching for the last few months? ;)

    Your famed edge-case temper-tantrums not working? Wait til Ballmer gets a piece, then you can complain to Microsoft.

  47. “it’s NOT a reasonable limit. I know businesses with hundreds of thousands of contacts. Chris Pirillo has that many too for his email newsletters.”

    Yes, it IS a reasonable limit. Who the hell needs to have all the people they send an email newsletter to in their address book? You generally have specialised software to send emails like that. Do people really administer lists like that using the GMail interface?

    Let me put it another way:

    Let X be the number of people who could use GMail. Let Y be the number of people who ‘need’ more than 10,000 people in their contacts list.

    So the proportion of users this limit matters to is Z = Y/X.

    I’m guessing Z tends to zero. Or, in fact, is zero for all intents and purposes.

    You need to realise that “me, and a couple of other guys I know, and that’s totally just off the top of my head!” is an edge case, and is unlikely to be addressed any time soon. It’s why having 5000+ friends in Facebook isn’t sensible either. It isn’t what it is designed to do.

    In other words, “reasonable limit” means “for the vast majority of people”, not “good enough for ME”.

  48. “it’s NOT a reasonable limit. I know businesses with hundreds of thousands of contacts. Chris Pirillo has that many too for his email newsletters.”

    Yes, it IS a reasonable limit. Who the hell needs to have all the people they send an email newsletter to in their address book? You generally have specialised software to send emails like that. Do people really administer lists like that using the GMail interface?

    Let me put it another way:

    Let X be the number of people who could use GMail. Let Y be the number of people who ‘need’ more than 10,000 people in their contacts list.

    So the proportion of users this limit matters to is Z = Y/X.

    I’m guessing Z tends to zero. Or, in fact, is zero for all intents and purposes.

    You need to realise that “me, and a couple of other guys I know, and that’s totally just off the top of my head!” is an edge case, and is unlikely to be addressed any time soon. It’s why having 5000+ friends in Facebook isn’t sensible either. It isn’t what it is designed to do.

    In other words, “reasonable limit” means “for the vast majority of people”, not “good enough for ME”.

  49. Can I say, told ya so?

    Mind you I only have about 1500 contacts, not friends, in Outlook, so 5000 wouldn’t be a problem. It’s the “walled garden” aspect that ruled it out for me.

  50. Can I say, told ya so?

    Mind you I only have about 1500 contacts, not friends, in Outlook, so 5000 wouldn’t be a problem. It’s the “walled garden” aspect that ruled it out for me.

  51. @Robin Capper: totally agreed. That’s the big kicker for me.

    I’m also rapidly approaching the 5k limit (at 4384 now) and will soon find it as frustrating as Scoble.

  52. @Robin Capper: totally agreed. That’s the big kicker for me.

    I’m also rapidly approaching the 5k limit (at 4384 now) and will soon find it as frustrating as Scoble.

  53. the talk of fb being address book 2.0 is interesting – my company (Jangl) actually built an app inside fb called “Phonebook”. Check it out, it provides you an at-a-glance view of all your friends, a phone number for them (a virtual one that is), and other call control settings. No comment on the 5K limit – I don’t have that many “friends”, for better or worse

  54. the talk of fb being address book 2.0 is interesting – my company (Jangl) actually built an app inside fb called “Phonebook”. Check it out, it provides you an at-a-glance view of all your friends, a phone number for them (a virtual one that is), and other call control settings. No comment on the 5K limit – I don’t have that many “friends”, for better or worse

  55. >Chris Pirillo has that many too for his
    >email newsletters.

    I used to have about 2 million people on my e-mail newsletter lists before Yahoo decided to turn them all over to that hacker in Poland.

  56. >Chris Pirillo has that many too for his
    >email newsletters.

    I used to have about 2 million people on my e-mail newsletter lists before Yahoo decided to turn them all over to that hacker in Poland.

  57. @Satish: if you’re serious about that Facebook developer thing, we’d be willing to take it on :-).

    And @Scobleizer: what did you expect when you started friending everyone regardless of whether or not they’re your real-life friend? That said, I agree that the 5,000 friend limit sucks. Would you pay for more capacity?

  58. @Satish: if you’re serious about that Facebook developer thing, we’d be willing to take it on :-).

    And @Scobleizer: what did you expect when you started friending everyone regardless of whether or not they’re your real-life friend? That said, I agree that the 5,000 friend limit sucks. Would you pay for more capacity?

  59. @Everyone who things that 5k FB friends and 10k Gmail contacts is unreasonable: Must I remind you that you are using a “free” (as in beer) service that you signed/clicked-yes-to an EULA with? If the product that you have not made any investment in is not good enough for you, get another!
    FB calls them “friends” for a reason, and I am pretty confident that you do not have 5000 actual friends. If you are only using FB/Gmail as a distribution list for newsletters, etc, and it’s not good enough for you, purchase a specialized program that will manage that many contacts for you with no limit. Or, as mentioned above, just start a group and accomplish the same things. I’m sure you would have no problem getting all 5000 of your “friends” to join up.

  60. @Everyone who things that 5k FB friends and 10k Gmail contacts is unreasonable: Must I remind you that you are using a “free” (as in beer) service that you signed/clicked-yes-to an EULA with? If the product that you have not made any investment in is not good enough for you, get another!
    FB calls them “friends” for a reason, and I am pretty confident that you do not have 5000 actual friends. If you are only using FB/Gmail as a distribution list for newsletters, etc, and it’s not good enough for you, purchase a specialized program that will manage that many contacts for you with no limit. Or, as mentioned above, just start a group and accomplish the same things. I’m sure you would have no problem getting all 5000 of your “friends” to join up.

  61. [...] What’s the social networking phenomena all about? Is it a way to easily communicate with a variety of friends/people? Or is simply about being popular/well known – however you want to define popular: e.g. My name is Robert Scoble and I have 5,000 Facebook friends. [...]

  62. In addition to the problems cited by Winer and the others in these comments, Facebook is rather unfriendly to those of us who are older. I noted this when I went to look for friends in the college list and the dropdown graduation date menu only went back to 1970. Not much help to someone who graduated from college in 1963. Fortunately for us older types, saggingfacebook.com looks ready to fill the void.

  63. In addition to the problems cited by Winer and the others in these comments, Facebook is rather unfriendly to those of us who are older. I noted this when I went to look for friends in the college list and the dropdown graduation date menu only went back to 1970. Not much help to someone who graduated from college in 1963. Fortunately for us older types, saggingfacebook.com looks ready to fill the void.

  64. [...] Comment on Facebook Sucks, Dave Winer says by Argentina » Blog …Comment on Facebook Sucks, Dave Winer says by Iguazu-Falls » Blog …Dave Winer wrote: Why Facebook Sucks . Can’t say I disagree. I think it sucks because it isn’t scalable and falls apart at 5000 contacts. It pisses me off more and more … Posted in Argentina | Trackback | del.icio.us | Top Of Page [...]

  65. [...] Facebook wasn’t built for people like Tris. (Sorry buddy, but it’s true.) It was built for people like me who can’t resist sucking all of our content into one central location and updating it constantly with new information, and then spitting that content out to our friends. Robert Scoble is like that too, except he’s too popular. [...]

  66. i am proud to be counted in the number of Scoble friends on Facebook and agree with his comments. Scoble is REAL PEOPLE and speaks his mind rather than kissing up to the establishment. we are lucky to have him as a spokesman for those of us without a voice. thank you Scoble for keeping it real.

  67. i am proud to be counted in the number of Scoble friends on Facebook and agree with his comments. Scoble is REAL PEOPLE and speaks his mind rather than kissing up to the establishment. we are lucky to have him as a spokesman for those of us without a voice. thank you Scoble for keeping it real.

  68. [...] There are stories around why the limitation exists at all. The official reason is that Facebook wants to make sure that people only add “real” friends to their account, and the restriction is on the high end of the number of friends that any one person could reasonable have. The unofficial (and actual) reason: scaling problems made this necessary. I’ve heard this directly from Facebook employees, as have others. [...]

  69. [...] There are stories around why the limitation exists at all. The official reason is that Facebook wants to make sure that people only add “real” friends to their account, and the restriction is on the high end of the number of friends that any one person could reasonable have. The unofficial (and actual) reason: scaling problems made this necessary. I’ve heard this directly from Facebook employees, as have others. [...]

  70. [...] There are stories around why the limitation exists at all. The official reason is that Facebook wants to make sure that people only add “real” friends to their account, and the restriction is on the high end of the number of friends that any one person could reasonable have. The unofficial (and actual) reason: scaling problems made this necessary. I’ve heard this directly from Facebook employees, as have others. [...]

  71. [...] There are stories around why the limitation exists at all. The official reason is that Facebook wants to make sure that people only add “real” friends to their account, and the restriction is on the high end of the number of friends that any one person could reasonable have. The unofficial (and actual) reason: scaling problems made this necessary. I’ve heard this directly from Facebook employees, as have others. [...]

  72. [...] Robert Scoble has an interesting post in response to Om Malik’s suggestion that Twitter start charging “Super Users”. Scoble would qualify as an edge-case when comes to social network . He has a history of hitting the limits like these on MSN Messenger and Facebook. [...]

  73. For those whom this concerns:
    They put limits on the number of contacts you can have because of SPAMMERS who upload/dowbnload hundreds of thousands of email addresses for the purpose of harrassing people and bombarding innocent people with unwanted garbage emails about drugs that help them with growing their tiny shlongs, and online drug dealers, and a bazillion different bogus lottery winners from all over the world truying to scam millions of peopkle out of their hard earned money.
    For those people like yourself who have thousands of contacts, they sell software for a couple buxx that work with your FREE online email accounts, and you can save as many contacts as you want to in them.
    I feel your pain and understand your frustration, but there is a very simple solution to the issue and I hope that this will help you understand their situation a little more.
    I am a Facebook user, and they suspended my email account because they say I send topo many emails and get too many emails. 10-20 a day at the most. They send me more than that in an hour to my personal email address, I guess that makes them spammers too then. LOL Assholes.

    Good Luck folks

    Dean

  74. For those whom this concerns:
    They put limits on the number of contacts you can have because of SPAMMERS who upload/dowbnload hundreds of thousands of email addresses for the purpose of harrassing people and bombarding innocent people with unwanted garbage emails about drugs that help them with growing their tiny shlongs, and online drug dealers, and a bazillion different bogus lottery winners from all over the world truying to scam millions of peopkle out of their hard earned money.
    For those people like yourself who have thousands of contacts, they sell software for a couple buxx that work with your FREE online email accounts, and you can save as many contacts as you want to in them.
    I feel your pain and understand your frustration, but there is a very simple solution to the issue and I hope that this will help you understand their situation a little more.
    I am a Facebook user, and they suspended my email account because they say I send topo many emails and get too many emails. 10-20 a day at the most. They send me more than that in an hour to my personal email address, I guess that makes them spammers too then. LOL Assholes.

    Good Luck folks

    Dean