Facebook sucks now, at least when you compare it to its early, innocent days of 2007-2012 when it was just a simple to use tool for people to stay in touch and organize.
Since then, Facebook has become both a scandal ridden company and an annoying chore to use.
That being said, there are ways to somewhat improve the Facebook experience and also alternatives for every major Facebook feature.
6 reasons Facebook sucks and why it’s ok to hate it
Facebook is bad for society
Facebook has been at the forefront of creating Internet “echo chambers”.
The social media platform carefully monitors what people like and dislike, and then algorithmically feeds people content that aligns with their views, and while shielding them from content they might disagree with.
The end result is a communication breakup between different groups in society, where each group becomes isolated from one another until everybody demonizes everybody else.
The ones who profit the most from this is Facebook (of course), and those who created and maintain these divisions in the first place.
Facebook search sucks
If you know exactly what you’re looking for, then Facebook’s Search function is decent.
However, if you don’t know the exact name of a person, company, brand, page or product, then Facebook’s search function is terrible and will have you looking through mountains of useless stuff and still won’t give you what you need.
Facebook’s UI is bad & confusing
Facebook is now a mess of a zillion features all mixed into one: Videos, Marketplace, Groups, Gaming, Dating and whatever else.
The problem is that taken individually, none of these functionalities are good at what they do.
There are better dating apps than Facebook. Better alternatives to Facebook Groups. Better alternatives to Facebook Videos etc.
But even as a purely social media platform, Facebook still has a terrible interface that makes it hard to control privacy settings, navigate events, bookmark stuff, etc.
Facebook Groups sucks
Facebook has recently tried to pivot around and focus on its Groups functionality.
The only problem is that most Facebook Groups have poor moderation policies in place, are overrun by people who post stuff for self promotion, and generally little traffic.
If you’re hanging around on Facebook specifically for the groups function, then know that there are better alternatives out there both in terms of content quality, and also how much traffic they have.
Facebook has ads everywhere & everyone tries to sell you something
Seriously, those ads really are scattered everywhere throughout the Facebook app and make it very frustrating to navigate because they take up so much space.
Not only that, but most of them look almost the same as a normal post. By the time you realize you’ve been bamboozled, you’ve already interacted with the post and will now be bombarded by other similar ads in the future.
Facebook encourages validation seeking and narcissism
To be fair, most people post on Facebook as a way to let others know what’s going in their lives: a new relationship, workplace, getting engaged, having a child that sort of thing.
However, a significant portion of people use the platform simply to humblebrag about their lives and post ostentatious photos that scream “HEY LOOK AT ME”.
On top of that, Facebook has been proven to have a net negative affect on mental health, because it encourages comparing your behind the scenes mess to other people’s carefully rehearsed prime time.
So Facebook sucks, what can you do about it?
Delete Facebook if you can
The simplest and most radical solution. Not everybody can do this because their jobs might require having a Facebook account (such as online marketers), or they heavily use certain features of Facebook like Groups or Events.
But if you aren’t invested, then delete. Life will be simpler and cleaner.
Bulk unfollow people and pages you don’t care about
Unfollowing someone does not notify the other person that you recently unfollowed them.
This is a cleaner method to remove all the “noise” within your feed and keep everything nice and tidy.
You can do this in bulk by going to Settings & Privacy -> News Feed Preferences -> Unfollow.
From there, simply unfollow all the people & pages you don’t care about.
It’s easier to do on desktop, but works just fine on mobile too.
Replace Facebook app with Facebook Lite or Friendly app
If your main problem with Facebook is the app itself, then considering replacing the main Facebook app with either Facebook Lite or the Friendly app (available both for iOS and Android).
Facebook lite generally runs much smoother than the main app and removes lots of useless features. That’s why the Facebook lite app is usually under 10 MB, while the main FB can sometimes take 500 MB to 1 GB of storage.
Another app you might consider trying is Friendly Social Browser. This is an alternative app for Facebook that allows you to combine Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and just about any other social media app you can think of into one. Available on both iOS and Google Play.
Use some lesser known privacy settings
Facebook actually has some pretty in-depth privacy settings. They have no choice really, the platform’s gone through too many scandals not to have them.
Some of the ways you can protect your Facebook privacy includes:
- Revoke login authorizon for apps & websites you’ve logged in with Facebook.
- Download a copy of EVERY bit of information Facebook has about you.
- Off-Facebook Activity: this shows what non-Facebook apps and websites track your activity, and then send it back to Facebook to better target you with ads.
- (iOS) only: ask iOS to stop Facebook from tracking your activities outside the app.
- Hide / Show if you’re active (good for Messenger).
- Who can contact or send you a friend request (everybody or just friends of friends).
- Control who can follow you (everyone or just friends)
- Allow or forbid Facebook from using facial recognition on your photos.
There are a few other settings that are smaller in scope, but point is that you can at least control a lot of Facebook knows about you and what it does with your data.
The only downside is that you have to spend at least 30 minutes to an hour fiddling with the settings to get them to do what you want.
Facebook alternatives for every feature
Reddit – Replacement for Groups and FB News
Reddit is the 9th most visited site in the US, so you’re probably already a user.
If you’re not a user, then here’s a nutshell explanation of Reddit:
You create a profile that is not tied to your real identity. Anonymity is key to Reddit.
You subscribe to interest-based communities that are tightly moderated so they stay true to the community’s purpose.
There’s a community for literally anything: science, politics and even cats wrapped in towels (https://www.reddit.com/r/Purrito/)
You don’t follow people or personalities on Reddit. It’s all about communities and discussions, not about the lives of individual users.
Most of your time on Reddit will be spent reading comments and replies. Popular threads can have thousands or tens of thousands of comments, witch each person sharing their own unique experience you can laugh at, learn from or empathize with.
Telegram – Replacement for Facebook Messenger
Telegram is a privacy focused messaging app that competes with WhatsApp and Messenger.
Unlike those, Telegram natively encrypts every conversation you have on the platform, making it impossible for outsiders (and even Telegram itself) to be able to read them.
Perhaps the ultimate positive review of Telegram is that the service is banned by many countries frustrated they can’t monitor their citizen’s conversations: Iran, Russia, China, Cuba, Belarus and a few who banned it temporarily.
Also unlike WhatsApp or Messenger, Telegram does not sell your data to advertisers.
Meetup – Facebook Events competitor
Meetup is a community based social platform that helps groups organize in real life events based on various interests, such as going to the movies, playing board games, etc.
To be fair, Meetup is not as widespread as Facebook Events is, simply because FB Events has a nearly 2 billion strong social media network behind it.
Despite this, there are quite a few communities that are exclusive to Meetup and not available at all on FB Events, and this makes the app worth checking out.
Discord – Facebook Groups alternative
Discord is a community based VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), messaging and communication app that initially targeted gamers.
Over the years Discord has become an all-purpose app designed for pretty much all kinds of communities, ranging from cooking, gaming, sewing, urban exploration, and much more.
To use Discord, a user needs to find an invitation link to a server (a Discord Server is the equivalent of a Facebook Group).
Most servers tend to have multiple Channels (or subgroups) where users can talk about a particular topic.
Nextdoor – Neighborhood based social media network
Nextdoor is a social networking app built for neighborhoods. Each neighborhood is assigned a private Nextdoor website, and only users that live within that particular neighborhood can join and participate in it.
To join Nextdoor you will need to submit personal information, including address and name. However, you do get access to a unique social network that fosters community bonds.
Available on PC, iOS, Android and MacOS.
TikTok – Facebook Video replacement
TikTok is the new cool kid on the block in terms of social media and video.
That being said, TikTok is undeniably fun to use, and has nailed video content. It has everything for everyone: educational content, ramblings, politics, how-to’s, cat videos, dog videos, you name it.
The one thing that’s holding back TikTok is that you need to invest some time and effort into training it’s algorithm to show you stuff you like, and hide stuff you’re not interested in.