Hal Lublin on February 12th, 2010

OK, so yesterday I complained about a problem I have with spammy, hard-sell behavior on Facebook. I wound up receiving a few comments about people who also can’t stand Farmville, Yoville, MafiaWars, SuperPokes, Vampires, Zombies, Vampires v. Zombies, Mafia Zombies, SuperVampirePokers who live on Farms and so on. Since I’ve already discussed what the players of these games can do to keep from annoying others, I figured I would take a look at how we as non-players can address this issue.

Before I get started, let me say this for the record: I have nothing against games (stupid or smart) on Facebook; for a lot of people, it’s the main reason they keep coming back, and they get a lot of enjoyment out it them, and that’s just fine. This isn’t an indictment of Facebook gamers; it’s a message of empowerment to everyone else.

If you too are frustrated/annoyed/done with the constant news feed stories about games you have NO interest in hearing about, you can hide them. Here’s how:

1. Roll your pointer over the news item – you’ll see a “hide” button appear in the upper right hand corner:

2. Click the “hide” button and hide the application, not the user (unless you don’t want updates from that user, which begs the question “why are you friends with them in the first place?”):

3. Go about your life, secure in the knowledge that you’ve made your Facebook experience that much better.

Does this take some time? Yes. Is it worth the few seconds per app that it takes? Yes. For me, Facebook is a much less spammy experience now. I’ve only had to unfriend one person due to nothing but apps/games in their feed, and I don’t think it was a huge loss to either of us. If you like some aspects of Facebook enough to want to stick with it, tips like these give you a lot more control in crafting the experience you want.

What else would make your Facebook experience more enjoyable/productive?

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