• Rob Spectre
  • 21
  • Nov
  • 08

Logging into Facebook, it seems the social networking darlings of the day have committed a bit of a production boo-boo.  Above my profile at around 11pm PST this evening, I received the following notice:

Unfortunately, your email notification settings have been lost. You can reset them on the Notifications page. We’re sorry for the inconvenience.

You lost my what?

You lost my what?

Clicking on the link to the Notifications page they provided, it seems my preferences for email notification were indeed lost.  I keep my email notification restricted mostly to replies to comments, status and friend requests – now by default everything is turned on.  The list takes a while to complete with 11 different categories with four or five activities a piece.

This is a pretty public snafu for the do-no-wrong dominant player in the social space that may be running out of money.  MySpace may have had a lot of problems with availability, but they never lost any of my data.  What does this say about their platform?

Did this happen to you?

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  • MCG202

    so how do we fix it ..? how do i get my Facebook e-mail notifications bk ? : o

  • marie

    yes it happened to me two weeks ago. I discovered while logg in that I had received MESSAGES but never the notifications. Everything was set up to OFF! so imagine the problem... i don't care about Facebook but now more and more of my contacts send me ONLY message on facebook in place of email. Big problem when you are relying on notifications> Solution: it forces you to go to the site and check everything is fine. Could this be a "strategy" to force you to go to the site and then see the add?? (just kidding) ;-)

  • buckey ranks

    Lets remember Facebook is free, gets your Face noticed, your message accross, and in my Book, the best on the Web..............so lets appreciate it

  • Gary F.

    Just because you don't pay money for something doesn't mean you don't have the right to bitch about it if it breaks... and believe me, facebook isn't providing their service out of the kindness of their hearts either. They're selling your information and your eyeballs.

  • Hala Furst

    Who knew this would be the most talked about post of the week? I never imagined people coming to fisticuffs over the Book of Faces.

    I will say this one thing, though: appreciating something doesn't mean you shouldn't bitch about its shortcomings. Your logic is flawed.

  • Bitching about a *free* service. When you have to start paying to use Facebook, and when Facebook is the *only* social network, then you can bitch to your heart's content ;)

  • Hala Furst

    Pretty sure I can and will bitch about whatever I want, whenever I want, boys. It
    It isn't like Facebook is providing a charity service. They get paid in advertising, and handsomely.


  • 1) No one is "bitching." Arrington is right in the sense that I'm angry, but it's about other stuff, not this stuff.

    2) Email notification settings themselves are not a big deal.

    3) Email notifications settings that constitute *user data* on a 100 million person service is a *very* big deal.

    In this Web 2.0 world, we are operating under a paradigm that we give someone all our info and they implicitly guarantee its safety. The whole "life-as-a-service" concept is the subtle fabric from which the modern web is weaved and we don't have a whole lot of examples of that failing from Facebook.

    Facebook has done stellar work in this area, but its first failing - especially given its current degree of influence - is a big deal. As a company with a valuation north of $1 billion dollars, its first failing is a big deal. As a social network attempting to position itself as a cloud platform upon which entire businesses (Slide, RockYou) have been created and funded are dependent, its first failing is a big deal.

    The issue is not email notifications. This issue is user data and a big company totally blew it for the first time. This is not bitching about a free service.

    This is *news* about a firm who is a principal in the making of the modern Internet.

  • Tii

    Happened to me as well, this morning. And after resetting, the notification is still there.

    Rob, you're so right about the seriousness of losing user data.

  • Yessir. I stopped getting notifications in my BlackBerry app about 2 weeks ago. Finally logged in yesterday and found that everything was set to off. Seeing as I hate Facebook I didn't really care, but they definitely screwed the pooch for all the addicts out there...

    EDIT: Oh, and I still haven't received any notification by email or on my page that they screwed up. Awesome policy fellas.

  • Indeed. It is not entirely important what it was, though if they lost your friend's list it would probably be front page of the Times as opposed to front page of (d)N0t.

    Losing user data is a pretty big deal and I think your experience with their communication on the issue is telling.

    Facebook is certainly not evil or malicious with this communication strategy; it just implies that losing this stuff might be a scenario they haven't fully considered or planned.

  • Nicki Brøchner

    Okay.. you really should come down ;) it is not the end of the world that you should be getting a few more emails from Facebook then normal. Yes it is irritating but come on it is just mails you don't have to read or react to them ;D

  • It's a fair criticism, but I don't think the issue is the incident so much as the precedent.

    I could give a damn about how the email notifications are configured, but it is *user data* which is solid gold to any SaaS. Any condition that requires user re-entry is a critical event, regardless of the actual consequence.

    It speaks less about the issue and more about the process that created it.

  • Bill

    go take a walk, noone died :-P

  • this happened to mee too..and to add to the post, it happens over and over again..i reset my email notifications and then again after abt ten minutes, it says the same...im confused

  • This happened to me as well. Reset all my settings, did up this post, and came back to check Facebook and the same message came back.

    wtf.

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