Facebook often tests out experimental features on a small sliver of its billion users before rolling it out to the rest of the world. Today, it's notification sounds. It's awful. Please, please let this remain a bad experiment.
Notification sounds are generally horrible, harkening back to a time when we received notifications so infrequently that they actually deserved a sound (think someone signing off of AIM, and a door slamming). But our digital lives today are a cascading muddy sinkhole of notifications, a vortex of stuff happening — a lot of which is noise. So why accompany it with actual noise?
The sound you hear above will, if Facebook makes this permanent, go off every time almost anything happens to you. A friend request. A comment or like on something you wrote. These aren't occasional events — these are things that happen to regular Facebook users all day. This means you'll be getting this sound, which is reminiscent of an error from a mid-90s PC, throughout your day. No. No.
VentureBeat's Sean Ludwig, who is part of the notification beta bloop, notes that you can switch the crap off:
You can turn them off by going into Account Settings > Notifications. Simply click "View" on the top tab and then uncheck the box that says "Play a sound when each new notification is received."
But whereas he thinks this is an "easy" opt-out, I'm not so sure — Facebook's users have a notoriously tough time navigating the site's settings when it comes to things as important as intimate privacy. Assuming they'll be able to skate in and turn off this infuriating DEH-NEH sound is a recipe for a lot of aggravation.
Facebook, we don't need sounds. Nobody likes sounds. No sounds. [VentureBeat]