Failbook

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

Unless you’re in a cave someplace or have abandoned it for Google+, you’ve probably noticed that Facebook did an overhaul last night.  I logged in this morning and while I’ll admit I’m not the brightest guy in the world, I was thoroughly confused.  Many of the new features are clearly designed to compete with things found on Google+ and Twitter, such as circles.  For those of you struggling to make sense of the new layout, Gizmodo did a nice job color-coding everything in a cheat sheet.

I’m a believer in continuous improvement.  I’m not a believer in keeping up with the Joneses.  Here’s why.

If the numbers one reads are right, Facebook has somewhere around 700,000,000 customers.  If even 10% of them are feeling the way I am, that’s an awful lot of people they made unhappy in an effort to keep with some other services that aren’t used the same way.  There’s a new thing called “subscribe” – how is that different from “liking” something?  When I post, do I have to specify which of my new “smart lists” see it?  If I make it “public,” it is really public and available to the world or just to all the folks I’ve friended?  Can search engines read it?  I believe that people are notified when I put them on lists with the name of the list – completely different from how Google+ handles additions to circles – what if I make a “complete idiots” list and put someone on it?  And that’s just the tip of my issue iceberg.

If damn near everyone with a computer is using your service, maybe you’re doing something right?  Sure, some very influential tech writers have said they’re quitting Facebook for Google+ because it has some great features, but they’re a loud minority (I barely use G+ any more).  In trying to copy your competition, you can’t ruin the user experience for the silent majority (to use an old phrase).  Maybe these features are better.  Then do a better job explaining them and introduce them gradually.  Dropping this bomb on a huge user base out of the blue isn’t the way to handle it.

You need to be YOU as a business.  If you’ve been successful, learn from everyone but make it YOU.  That’s why your customers are loyal.

What do you think of the changes?  Am I nuts?

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2 Comments

Filed under digital media, Helpful Hints

2 responses to “Failbook

  1. Pingback: In a world where everyone knows everything about you

  2. Pingback: In a world where everyone knows everything about you » Techwag

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