Take Facebook’s recently-launched music integration, for example. Right now as I stare at my Ticker, I’m seeing a stream of songs that my friends are listening to. Sometimes I’ve never heard of the song. Sometimes I have. Sometimes I really like the song. And, almost always, my immediate impulse is neither to ‘Like’ their update nor to start listening to that song myself. I usually just shrug my shoulders.
The fundamental issue is that there’s no context or emphasis around any of these posts. I see song after song scroll by, and I don’t know which ones are actually important to my friends. I don’t know which are the tracks they love — and which are the tracks they left playing as they stepped away to grab lunch. And, as more applications and sites begin syndicating into the Ticker, I’m going to run into the same problem. I won’t know which news articles my friends have endorsed, and which ones they just happened to click on because they saw a link in Twitter. And there’s just so much stuff.