Serious question: What are the good parts about Facebook for you? What do you get real value from on Facebook?
Example and counterexample of what I'm looking for: "I like seeing pictures of my friends' cats" is an appropriate answer. "All my friends are on it" is not an appropriate answer, since there is no inherent value of having all your friends on it.
Most of the things I liked about it when I started they have ruined over the years. I initially came for the party invites. Now they only notify some of the invited. I liked the address book feature, but they changed that to mostly only show contacts they stole off of my phone rather than be a way to lookup my friends current email, or phone number. Using it for oauth is helpful, but they don't let me opt out of sharing extra information.
All my friends are on it. No, don't roll your eyes, bear with me here. Due to my academic pursuits I have moved to two different states and to very isolated locals. My core group of friends, and friends from my hobbies, are all on Facebook and I keep up with them slash chat with them regularly on this platform. If they were on another platform, I would use that.
Sharing pictures with friends and family, especially when they are far away. It is so much easier doing that on facebook versus something like emailing, which is what I used to do. It's also a nice platform for events and for getting information out to lots of people in a short amount of time.
Yes, I use messenger a TON. I know its not the best platform, and not the most private, but the ability to easily make group messages and see who is "around" makes me use it a lot. I also like the stickers.
And, although I haven't done it myself, many of my friends use Facebook live to do things and I like to see it. For example, a good friend cooked a turkey this morning and live streamed it so it was kinda like hanging out in his kitchen with him for a bit, since I live over 7 hours away from EVERYONE.
Lol, ya, its kinda amazing. Idk why, but all my foam sword fighting friends use it. Sometimes they're tooling leather, sometimes baking a turkey. Sometimes actually sword fighting and soliciting feedback. But mostly just random stuff lol.
I like that all my friends could be on it, it is not exclusive and it is not snarky - except I don't like that many friends use it for trash-talking and venting ideas that aren't theirs, which blocks out individualization of humanity of my friends a lot of the time. I like the event invite feature - to learn about events mainly - and use it as my #2 calendar after Google Calendar but more than Meetup calendar. I like comments threads and posts when they are within the guidelines I keep in the rest of my life - and the most recent version of those guidelines was developed through a FB ...
Being able to experience connection with others in light of the real life constraints of daily living. It's a sort of social glue for me, a relationship-amplifier.
I've also generally been able to pick up on the changes to the algorithms and what shows up in my feed, so I think I've managed to curate a feed that's informative and stimulating more than what others seem to experience. But it's the result of a lot of conscious choices to work with the feed's behaviors.
I enjoy keeping a little bit of contact with ex-students (and some current students) and seeing what they are up to, as well as keeping some contact with colleagues, high school and grad school classmates, and some others. It is also a sort of "support group" for randonneuring, an endurance-oriented cycling sport in which emotional support is helpful.
I like seeing pictures of my friends cats (and dogs).
Oh also, it's the only way I have to keep in contact with old friends that I haven't seen for a long time. Like those from summer camp for example!
Great question! (And I hope what you learn here will inform our ongoing work in the Social Web WG.) I'm intrigued by what may be generational differences in these answers, vs my experience.
I'm probably much older than anyone else who has responded (in my late 60's, and I can also speak for older friends and relatives, up to Mom who's 94). I know no one my age or older who uses FB for invites, live streaming, work. And I'd say it's only a supplementary source for news (newspaper, TV, NPR, magazines being the other sources).
I'd say our dominant usage is to keep up with friends and ...
I agree with Alli, the reason I am on facebook is it happens to be the platform my friends are on. Over all, facebook is a terrible platform that promotes fake news over discussion. I put up with it because my friends are here.
I have a big, spread out family and lots of close friends who are thousands of miles away. I appreciate being able to see what's new with them - I'm really enjoying everyone's baby pictures right now - in a space that feels private and lightweight enough that people are comfortable sharing. Lately I've also been enjoying it for private events like house parties - stuff you wouldn't stick on a web page. All the public, or tech-orientated stuff, can be found elsewhere, but Facebook updates still often feel personal.