My observe deals with the automatic video playing that I find on facebook and instagram. When scrolling through a feed, the videos begin silently playing. I found that even if I wasn’t pulled in by the static image at first, when it became “moving”, I suddenly became more interested in the story.
A picture is worth a thousand words, but moving pictures tell a story. As I’m scrolling, I only get a second or two in the clip before I potentially scroll past, but I found that this is just enough time to hook me. In just a second or two, the story begins to unfold.
The silent aspect of the video adds to the hook. It makes me think that I get to choose whether to hear the audio or not, but it’s actually about me not being in the know. I can see the kids giggling, I can see people talking, I can see things that need to make sound, but I’m restricted. Facebook says “no, don’t hear this” and my mind says “why not?”.
Initially I thought that the silent video was a nice feature, which surpasses the current auto-loading videos which blast their audio content without concern, but now I’m not so sure. Facebook doesn’t seem to change (or do) anything unless is 1) benefits them and 2) uses psychology against (maybe even for??) us. I’m irritated by auto-loaded videos which blast their audio, but I more than tolerate the silent auto-loaded videos. In fact, I’m more likely to watch a silent auto-load than an audible auto-load. I think facebook (also read: instagram, snapchat, etc) knows that.
I made a google chrome extension, which is used to remove all the images of the products on the amazon website so that people literally can’t judge a book by its cover. This script works best when supplemented with an ad blocker (otherwise the pictures just end up appearing in the ad space).
They saw me, and then they told me they saw me. We all know by now that all of our actions online are tracked, but this graphic seemed like they were mocking me. Yeah they see me, but what am I really going to do about it?
I don’t know if this is supposed to be a friendly gesture, like a friend shopping with you and giving you a nudge about a deal on something you saw, but it creeped me out. This is definitely making me rethink my browsing habits. All in all, they’re inadvertently causing me to not want to use the internet (read: their services) anymore.
Assignment: tweak some existing webpages with Google developer tools. Most of my tweaks were just for being humorous. Although a global space exploration program would be nice… as well as auditions to Deke’s next big performance!
This week I noticed how I was scrolling and scrolling (and scrolling) through Pinterest. More specifically, I was obsessed with seeing the entire picture of each pin. As you can see in my screenshot below, you can’t actually see the entire image for any of the pins. This caused me to scroll up and down the screen to view them. The scrolling caused more partial images to show. This then led me to begin the cycle again. I also noticed that a lot of the pins were the same pin, but that didn’t stop me from scrolling through to see if there were any different pins. After a while, and due to the repetitive nature of the pins, I was able to pull myself away from the screen.
The choice of layout for the pins definitely aids in my habitual scrolling, but the interesting part is that the pin sizes are largely determined by the people who upload the pins, not by Pinterest. There is a width limit of 238 px, which is determined by Pinterest, but the height is proportionally adjusted based on the image you upload.