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When Facebook was Fun

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Nice history of early FB

I miss fun Facebook.

Facebook these days is a cross between repetitively boring and mindlessly busyworking.

It's like opening a fridge when I'm not hungry and staring at it hoping something fun will materialize.

Something fun never materializes. 

I love the opening line.

It’s hard to remember, now, but there was a time when Facebook was the most exciting thing on the Internet.


 true.  now it is a struggle to keep it so pictures can be shared with my tech-slow family...

I agree. Now it's just so boring and repetitious. It feels like WORK.

I'm trying to remember this feeling of excitement:

Once signed in, it was easy to see what the excitement was about. While the site was very simple, there was an immediate rush to see what your friends were writing and to show off your most interesting self. Which books should I list to show off my literary sensibilities? Which forgotten philosopher should I quote? Should I include obscure bands, or embarrassing pop, or both?

Facebook was able to create excitement WITHOUT photos, statuses, or a feed:

In the beginning there was only a static profile page with your picture and a number of text fields for your House, hometown, interests, favorite books and music, etc. No photo albums, no News Feed, no status updates; I don’t even remember if there was private messaging right away. There was a Wall, but it was a simple text field that your friends could edit. Only the last person to make a change was noted underneath. And there was Poking–a vaguely naughty digital ping whose yet-undetermined social norms made it all the more interesting.

It's hard to remember an angst associated with HOW MANY friends you had:

You could browse the list of your friends’ friends, and every profile listed the number of friends you had. That quantification was a source of some angst in the early going, when it really was connected to the size of your social circle on that ambitious campus.

Privacy was actually a main feature of the original Facebook:

From today’s perspective, thefacebook was surprisingly private. You could only see someone’s profile if you were friends, and you could only get an account if you had a email address. That restriction was a big part of Facebook’s initial success–people were willing to create profiles because only their peers would see them, in contrast to Friendster or Myspace. And Harvard students love to be told they’re special and to be given exclusive access.

only worse two years later?

Yes Facebook started with lots of privacy and decided that was less important than openness. 

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