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Thursday, January 31, 2013
Facebook Rips Off LiveJournal
Zuck's money mill has been on a futuristic roll, giving us the most advanced social search we've ever seen. It's advanced stuff. So why is FB toying with a feature ripped straight out of 2002? Welcome toemotional status updates.
TechCrunch picked up this niche feature being tested on a small shred of Facebook users, as tends to be the case with experimental Facebook features. But sometimes they become real. The gist is simple: instead of just typing what you're doing or feeling, you can select a helpful verb to frame your thoughts.
Kim Jong-Un is drinking Pepsi. Kim Jong-Un is watching Workaholics Season 2. Kim Jong-Un is feeling insecure about his rocket launch.
You get the idea. And it's that last one that's giving me serious retro vibes—it wasn't that long ago that LiveJournal users were sharing their feelings with smiley or frowny faces, their depressions, happy-weeps, and emo-joyrides. It always felt tacked on and juvenile to broadcast your mood.
Facebook's take looks a little more sophisticated than that, but it's still the same concept: the site will assist you in explaining what's going on in your life. In turn, you'll plug more searchable information into Graph Search—although a Facebook rep told TC that isn't the case yet. Yet. But it's hard to imagine why it wouldn't be: making status sharing an idiot-proof, almost child-friendly endeavor means more people are sharing, which means there's much more to find out there when you start plugging your friends into the search bar. These search results are only useful to the extent that we're pouring our lives into the FB funnel. If Facebook thinks we need smiley faces and pictures of books to help us do it, then that's what we might get.