Even Worse Features Social Networking Sites Could Add (But Shouldn't)

By Stuart Houghton on at

This week, Twitter rolled out a new feature. Until now, you could only receive direct messages (DMs) from people you followed. Now, you will be able to opt in to receiving DMs from anyone who follows you. This struck us as possibly the last thing any sane Twitter user might want, but got us thinking -- what could be an EVEN WORSE feature for a social networking site to have?


Auto Selfies

One of the things the mobile Twitter app really needs is an option to randomly take photographs of you throughout the day, regardless of location or context, then tweet them out to your followers. Sophisticated face-detection code will grab a pic of your mug at every opportunity, even if you try to hide it with your hand or a low fringe.

Picking your nose on the bus while skipping a track? *snap* Reading a Huffington Post think-piece on the toilet? Say cheese. With Auto Selfies turned on, your friends can see your true face, for better or worse.


Promiscuous Cyberstalking Mode

Gawping at your attractive work colleague's Facebook photos is an excellent way to get to know them but just think how much they would appreciate knowing you are checking out their holiday snaps! By activating this new Facebook setting, you can automatically send your friends a private message to keep them informed.

Browsing after midnight puts this setting into broadcast mode, pasting thumbnails of each photo you view to your wall accompanied by a star rating based on how long you looked at it before skipping to the next pic in the album.


Meal Tyrant

Everyone likes taking Instagrams of their meals, and the more expensive and exotic the meal, the better. The new Meal Tyrant option in the Instagram beta app maximises your enjoyment by analysing each meal, then sending you snarky notifications to remind you of how much it cost when you are reduced to eating pencil shavings and dreams in the week before payday.

If you own a Fitbit or similar fitness gadget, Meal Tyrant will helpfully estimate the calorie content of each meal and berate you whenever your burned calories are lower than those you have consumed. Which will be always.


Auto Praise Retweeting

What better way to boost your popularity on Twitter than letting people know how great other people think you are? With this setting switched on, Twitter's natural language processors will detect positive comments from "LOL" to "AMAZEBALLS" and broadcast them to your ever-growing list of followers.

If you should be lucky enough to get a retweet or a "Cheers x" from a celebrity, the celebratory notification will be inserted into people's timelines as a highlighted Promoted Tweet. It's win-win!



This exciting new social dashboard startup is free to join and just £500 to leave. On sign-up, your Mum receives a link to a constantly-updating live view of your social media life. The Muvvr bots have the same privacy privileges as you do so every status update, DM, Snapchat selfie and sext can be packaged up in an easily-readable 16 point Impact font for your parent to pore over and judge.

By granting access to your Amazon account, Muvvr can also keep her posted about all the potential Mother's Day and birthday gifts you considered getting her -- such as GTA IV -- before you decided on that Interflora special offer.


Special Offer Notifier

If you REALLY care about your online friends, you'll want them to have access to the best healthcare discoveries at low, low prices. Sadly, with such a fast-moving field it can be difficult to keep pace with the literature.

Switch on Special Offer Notifications and you can keep you and your pals informed about the latest developments in off-beat cancer treatments, erectile dysfunction workarounds and weird tips that orthodontists hate via a cross-spectrum media barrage of Tweets, Direct Messages, emails and cold calls. All call centre staff have been specially recruited from a lost Amazonian people whose culture has no concept of refusal.


Inbox Infinity

Inbox Zero may once have been considered a pinnacle of e-work achievement but new research that we have made up suggests it may actually lull the brain into a false sense of completion and lower performance levels. Inbox Infinity will randomly fill your mailbox with up to 1,000 emails per day, generated using the most sophisticated pro-spam algorithms yet devised.

Forcing yourself to read through page after page of nonsense will, our wholly fictional experts claim, keep you alert and hungry for success. You may also be actually hungry, having spent your entire lunch break deleting emails like you are training for a new Olympic event.

Image Credits: left; middle; right.