Irritation Games - Facebook vs Google
I’ve reached my limit on being pestered to sign-in

The levels of sign-in nagging on Facebook and Google have becomg unbearable

Google is the default search engine on my phone, and every time I search for something half the screen shows a nagging message “Sign in / Stay stayed out”. Google is not shy when it comes to setting cookies, so it knows damn well that I always choose to stay signed out, but it’s clearly not happy with me using its service without my permission to track my every online action, and so nags and nags and nags, presumably thinking I’ll eventually get fed up and capitulate.

Fed up I am, but rather than kiss their search hole, I’ve switched my default search engine to DuckDuckGo.

Facebook’s nagging is even more extreme. I search for the pub in a village called Snailwell, The George and Dragon doesn’t have a website, so after clearing Googles’s nag I clicked through to their Facebook page to be blasted with broadside of nags: a banner across the top 20% of the screen suggest I open the page in the app, a similar “SIgn In” prompt and a pop-up message. Trying to read any of the info about the pub was impractical, so I navigated back and forth between Google and Facebook to see if I could find a way through.

Finding the extra Facebook nags extra annoying I deleted the app from my phone. I hate it anyway, so good riddance. The pop-up nags saying ‘Open this page in the Facebook app?’ are now ‘Invalid URL’ warnings, so there’s not much improvement.

I get the commercial motivation for Google and Facebook to encourage their users to login. Their revenues are largely dependant on being able to profile their users to allow advertisers to target ads in a very fine grained way. Sabotaging the user experience of their services seems like a step too far to me though. I can’t be the only one who hates what they’re doing now, or the only one switching to other services.

I also get why a small business might not bother with a website of their own when the perception is that ‘everyone is on Facebook’. Professional websites can be expensive, and the DIY platforms can be a bit clunky, and are not free either. Then there’s the need to keep info up to date on a website as well as Google and Facebook.

If you’re expecting a ‘tada’ ending to this with me announcing the launch of a new, better online alternative to the nagtastic duo, then I apologise if I’ve led you on. I do have a few half-baked online widgets that would work for small businesses like the George and Dragon, but I haven’t written this to promote anything - it’s just to vent my genuine frustration with the nag crap and what it says about the state of what’s on the the web these days, and I haven’t even mentioned cookie / privacy policy pop-ups, which is entirely Google’s fault in my opinion.