Daily Archives: December 14, 2007

The ‘"is" at the beginning of Facebook’s status updates (as in, "Joe Bloggs is at work") has long been the social network’s equivalent of Apple’s one-button mouse: A nagging design feature that makes sense to a small group of devotees but infuriates nearly everyone else.

Facebook originally conceived of the status update as a way for users to relay timely messages like "Sally is at the gym" or "Billy is heading to the concert," rather than more general statements like "Billy likes U2." Users never really saw it that way, though, and their efforts to circumvent the dreaded "is" resulted in a long list of grammatical and stylistic shenanigans.