PS4 update 3.00 released today with a number of new features, many of which center around friends and the community aspects of the console. While we’ve got our own opinions on the overall update that we’ll be sharing with you in a Now Loading… article tomorrow, today we want to briefly warn you about the new feature in Friends called ‘Favorite Groups.’
On the outside, this seems like a way to organize and group your friends, which is great now that the limit for friends is 2,000. As I’ve gathered people’s PSN names locally, through PSLS, and for trophy hunting, it’s become quite a chore to keep them all organized. Real name requests are a start, but they can only do so much for organizing these growing friends lists. Favorite Groups seemed like an optimal solution; a way to group your friends into categories, whether it’s your Destiny fireteam, Trophy boosting buddies, or any grouping that you could think of. It sure seems like a solution, but it’s not.
Do not create a Favorite Group. You’ve been warned.
It acts as a glorified group message hub and will spam anyone that you add to it. From the moment it is created, it shoots out messages to all members of the group when any member messages in it, or when any changes are made to the group. I fell victim to this during our recent Uncharted 2 livestream when I was added to a friend’s Destiny group, and subsequently got bombarded with notifications.
What this also means is that your favorite groups are public. If you create a group called “People I Hate Playing With,” or “Friends That Inspire Me to Listen to Boy Bands,” they would all get a notification and be able to see that you’ve created this group, what its title is, and who else is in it. That’s like if your phone contact list could see what you named each person in your phone, and not at all what I wanted in being able to organize and group up my friends.
As if that’s not bad enough, it goes even further step further. Any member of the group is able to go in, add players to the group, edit the group name, and edit the group picture. These changes are visible to all members of the group, including the original creator, completely defeating the purpose of creating custom groups, as any part of the group can go in and make any kind of edits that they want to. Today you could create a small group of ten friends called Trophy Buddies, and tomorrow it could have 97 people, a massive chain of messages, and be called The Justin Bieber Fan Guild.
Check out the screenshots below to see how I was able to change Dan’s group. I confirmed with Dan that things changed on his end too, and the message thread is full of people complaining about the mess of notifications.
It’s a terrible system with too many oversights and no real practical application. We already had a group messaging ability that got mostly annoying. We didn’t need it dressed up and hidden behind a supposedly new feature in a lackluster whole number title update.
Again, this is a public service announcement not to use the Favorite Groups feature unless you want all your friends to either hate you for spamming them, or troll you by changing your group members, group name, and picture. Have you been a Favorite Group victim yet? What in PS4 update 3.00 do you like and hate?