Erasing Facebook’s numbers


According to Benjamin Grosser, Facebook’s interface gives too much room to metrics and numbers.
This suggests an approach less social and much more oriented to the mere accumulation of likes, comments, shares and friendships: following a trend unfortunately popular, that is to reduce interaction to quantification. (The prime example here is of course Klout, the app that assigns a rating to your digital influence on the basis of these data).
Grosser therefore proposes a demetrificator: an add-on that removes all the metrics of the social network. For example:

No more “12 people”, but a general “people”. And so on for all the other typical Facebook actions.

Facebook has created such pressure on its users that they always feel like they are in a competition. It seems like a race where they have to acquire more number of likes than their friends. Instead of focusing on the content people are more interested in garnering more likes. Facebook is a strong and powerful medium and gives common people a platform to voice their opinions. How effectively it can be used is up to us. It is also a good platform for marketers. They can advertise and get instant reactions directly from users. So if the metrics are removed from Facebook, they will lose this feedback which is very valuable to them. Look at this website and understand how the metric system on Facebook works.

We tried it and it works great (and it is just as easy to remove). It will not be the add-on of 2012 and it will certainly make all marketers mad, but it’s an interesting experiment – because it tries to reassess Facebook’s purely social virtue. Allowing users to focus on the reactions and responses as such, without the nagging worry of counting. (Note: this applies in particular to comments and friends, while concerning the likes the question seems more delicate, as this expression of appreciation goes necessarily with a numeric term).
According to Grosser, the use of its demetrificator allows you to change your very behavior on Facebook: you will no more write statuses only to attract as many people as possible; instead, you will write more relevant and interesting ones. More unselfish, in some way.
This is certainly a radical solution, as radical is Grosser’s diagnosis – which links the desire for quantitative connection to the (inconscious and “capitalism-insipired”) desider to have more and more. Still, it’s a starting point to keep in mind for a more authentic and conversational use of what, in fact, is a huge room for digital conversation.

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