Most sites these days make use of all the data they gather. Amazon recommends other articles I might like based on what I’ve already bought or consulted. Twitter, Instagram and Facebook try to suggest new friends or content I might like.
While it makes sense for a shopping website to use all the data it knows about me to help me buy better things for me, I find it extremely disturbing that social networks do that for me.
Everything social is way too personal for companies to mess up with it. They don’t have all the cards at hands to determine what those recommandations will do to me. Moreover, they think they know what we’ll want, but in my experience they are very often wrong.
The trend these days is to help users by doing all the work for them - including all the work they didn’t want the site to do in the first place.
On Twitter I don’t want to know what content other users have liked.
On Facebook I don’t want to be suggested to have more friends. I’m fine with the friends I already have - and if I’m not friends with other people it’s probably for a reason.
I don’t want this to happen on Monica. I think we need to provide a tool that does only what the users want the tool to do.
This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t provide features that help the users by analyzing their data. But these features should never be a surprise to people. And they should never give the feeling that the site knows too much about its users.