What last.fm really is now? Protest.

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Last.fm development is slow. The website is in beta for almost three years now. I don’t mind, since I erased last.fm from my daily habits a long time ago, waiting for the return of the SOCIAL media aspect. Today, I was confronted with the anti-adblock banner (while no adblock was active) which made me think that something went terribly wrong along the way. After three years of waiting, the moment to say something about it has come.

I'm a last.fm user for almost a decade now (October 2008, often also a subscriber) and I had a wonderful time using it, not gonna lie. I met A LOT of people here, some of them even became my friends, and they still are to this day. Checking out profiles was great fun due to the users' creativity. You just wanted to scrobble and show off your taste. This is all in the past now.

When the update of August 2015 [?] rolled out, everything, along with many key features, went to shambles. The majority of us had most likely thought that these will be just temporary issues. If we’d only known better at that time. The update not only was rushed but also negatively impactful in terms of what last.fm was supposed to be.

Now it's just a dull database. A database logging what music you’ve listened to and when. There are scrobbles, sure enough, but there is nothing you can really do with them. Nobody cares about neighbor profiles anymore, because they're dull in the exact same way your own profile is; a meager profile picture connected to some band names. There is absolutely no room for creativity. 'About me' was a really strong feature of the 'old' last.fm, which allowed you to express yourself much more freely, perhaps in an unconventional and quirky way. BBCode support, embedded pictures - it made every profile unique. Unique to the owner and people who visited it. There was something compelling about discovering new people; the pertaining curiosity. We could even write our own journal! Ha, nobody even read it, but damn, yet another feature to express yourself, gone. Not to mention the groups (do I even want to?). Hell, what about basic features like age or even country?

Why would I follow more users if there is no connectivity with them? There is no longer even a way to check what your friends (people you follow) are listening to right now without visiting their profiles. And you won't do that anymore, either, because there is nothing that piques your interest like back in the days, when you spotted someone listening to something, and you felt the need to check it out. There are no logs of users activity, which makes it impossible to keep track of what they do. Does your friend happen to be in an interesting discussion about an artist you actually care about? Well, too bad, because you will never know. No connection whatsoever.

The events are back, which is fantastic, but how long did it take? I check the feedback section with update logs from time to time, and all I see is disappointment. Every few months (!) there is just a minor fix or a feature update. Mostly things that nobody cares about. No, nobody cares about colorful charts full of boring, corporate-like numbers that last.fm is trying to shove ahead of the features that we really need back. Perhaps last.fm is trying to only recommend music now? Hell, with all that scrobble history, it’s probably extremely capable to do that, but even then, why would we use it in lieu of Spotify, which is the new king of recommendations. Always in a simple way, always in the same application you listen to music - just a click away. Come to think of it, we’ve come to the point where creating a playlist on Spotify has more social aspects than the entirety of last.fm. Especially when you notice that you can actually keep track of what your friends are listening to now.

As for the good things, look 'n' feel was in dire need of a refresh for ages. But after all these years, we still have a non-customizable background picture which is still nothing but an artist’s forehead showcase. I’ve become very proficient in recognizing artists by their foreheads, I kid you not. Shoutbox improvements were also really welcome.

I hope it's not just me who misses the way last.fm used to be. And I hope it will get back to what we loved for years. As a sign of protest against current policy I suggest to turn on your adblock. If you ever get annoyed by the not-so-easy-to-remove anti-adblock banner, just add this to your filters: last.fm##div[style*="visibility:"]

With really mixed love, Aztek92 https://imgur.com/a/I7qbBXG

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Posted 2 years ago

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carnagexcandy, Moderator

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I had to read a lot to know what is being protested. I think the marjority have been using ad-block for a very long time. Interesting post, a lot has been echoed by people in the past and it's interesting to see frustration is still strong within the community.

Good venting, but the developers will continue to do what they want; "Guts of the site first, social aspect later."
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Jackie Nihil

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I couldn't agree more. I've been using Last.fm since late 2007 and these last three years have truly showed what a great site it used to be. I still can't understand why they haven't gone back to the old design or at least put back the social features in this never evolving beta version.

It's ironic - they went for a modern and minimalistic social media-esque platform - but they left all the true (and previously existing) social aspects out of it. They completely scrapped a dedicated community in favor of basically nothing but scrobbling. Minimalistic approach, literally, indeed.
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Here we go again for another long complain thread. This won't change a thing. I would think after three years most people would have accepted what it is now. I guess not.
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carnagexcandy, Moderator

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I waffled with the idea of being blunt and wording my reply the way you did, but you said it best.
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Bobby Digital

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User since 2006. I used to have all these crazy stats in my about me section, including all of the artists I'd seen live, now it's just a husk of what it once was. This beta is the worst. Sure there have been some interesting additions if you're into stats, but the social aspect, creativity and individuality has been stripped from the site completely. I 100% agree on how the only updates and modifications are to minor things that nobody was asking for. Why not address the glaring issues that the community has been voicing for years now? 
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GAH! I wish I could have screen-capture my old profile when I had the chance. :(

I never got the ball rolling with last.fm until a couple of years after I registered but by then it was to late when the beta happened. I agree it feels empty without the essential features and it's hard now to socialize. I'm still scrobbling here but I almost gave up on waiting on any improvements.
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carnagexcandy, Moderator

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I was able to screenshot my profile using the Wayback Machine, have you tried that? (It was crawled about 4 times between 2014-2015).
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I empathize with the OP but as has been mentioned above it seems like Last.fm is following the current trend of eschewing most dedicated social interaction in favor of integration with existing social media outlets like Facebook, Reddit, GetSat, etc. At least they retained shoutboxes and personal messaging, a lot of websites don't even have that anymore.
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Well, I’m about ready to give up. Everything is broken nothing gets fixed when it comes to reporting main issues on their service. Trolling, and cyberbullying especially. I would accept these stupid changes and an unwanted redesign they did three years ago if the Administration doesn't keep their eyes closed and give us stupid excuses when we complain to them and report them our problems. Looking at the current situation that has been going on for three years now, I understand more and more why people are leaving. They seem to have no more time or desire to argue with the team of Moderators because most of them always ignore our issues. There are hundreds of thousands of reports archived on this forum with no official response. Some of them are up to three years old, still waiting for a fix.

I’m a member of this site for three years now, and I don’t remember determining this amount of frivolousness' and the lack of professionalism that the Company has. I believed an affiliation with the American Company CBS would reach an ultimatum. That the upcoming changes would happen for the better, but it looks like I deceived myself, nothing has changed everything is the same. Only several Moderators are willing to assist with your issue and do everything they can to fix it. Trolls have started flooding the site with their stupid comments filled with nothing but loathe! They are creating tons of alternative accounts, to downvote main pictures of popular musicians, while spammers are hacking dead profiles to promote their stupid Advertisement. Not to mention hysterical fans who are doing nothing but sending you death threats and wishing you to die because to dare to criticize their “idol.”

I don’t know where all this leads, but something indicates me that we’re going more and more down the gutter. What Groucho from the comic book Dylan Dog - Killer witch would say now if he’s here, life is not ascending; life is a fall. And when you think you’re climbing, you fall. And when you fall to the bottom, you start digging a hole. The company does the same thing; it is going more and more down the gutter. They believe they are climbing, but they are falling, and it’s too sad to watch this. I used to spend a lot of time on this site for the sake of Groups and my friends. The follower’s tab is not working; the top listener’s tab also doesn’t function well. There are numerous of bugs that take months to fix them. 

The catalog LFM Mods still haven’t finished, and something tells me that will wait for other several years to see that miracle. They took everything from us, from playlists, “About Me” section, recent listeners, Groups, Journal portals to BBCoding and “find friends” search engine. BBCode works in the inbox but, it doesn’t work in shouts. They demonstrate their arrogance towards us to see our reaction. Nothing chafes me more than incompetent people who are arrogant and frivolous. Something tells me that this thread will also end locked and forgotten as always. I had to say what I think about this site; I couldn’t hold this in myself anymore. Spotify has recent friends activity that allows you to see what they are listening. It shatters me a lot that LFM doesn’t have this feature anymore. If they delete this comment and this thread, it will only prove that they don’t care about us anymore.

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Jon, Community & Customer Services

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Official Response
Thank your for your feedback, I will forward it to our product and development teams, and we'll do our best to address them in future updates.  However, as this is neither a bug report or specific feature request we can act on, we don't consider this a support issue and so the topic will be closed.  In future, please use our feedback form or last.fm subreddit for general feedback.  Thanks.

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