Well it happens every time. Facebook makes a change and sparks more divide and outrage than a State of Georgia execution. Teenagers around the world…
Well it happens every time. Facebook makes a change and sparks more divide and outrage than a State of Georgia execution. Teenagers around the world become instant UI experts, many claim they’ll leave in disgust and Twitter (ironically) is filled with stinging under-140-character quips. Some will say Google+ will usurp the king of social media.
Sure… someone will start a “Bring back the old Facebook” fan page and thousands will become fans and there’ll be a YouTube parody (probably in the form of a spoof Microsoft or Apple ad).
But what happens in reality?
Hundreds of millions of users just go ‘oh’ and carry on posting pictures of cute cats on their wall as if nothing happened.
Why all the changes?
With 1 in 9 people on the planet on Facebook (about 750 million) then it’s no surprise that Facebook changes can’t please all the people all the time. So why don’t they stick to another old adage “If it ain’t broke don’t try to fix it”?
Here’s where you’ll get different opinions from different folks:
- Facebook – they’ll tell you it’s about improving the user experience, increasing engagement and implementing features folks will want.
- Sceptics – they’ll see changes as nothing more than a way for Facebook to increase their advertising revenue.
- Cynics – they’ll be closely scrutinising any changes to user privacy, betting there’ll be more data about you getting shared.
- Alarmists – they’ll interpret changes as omens of the fall of Facebook given the threatened rise of the false God Google+ or the idolised Twitter.
But the reality? Probably a bit of all of the above.
Mark Zuckerberg didn’t amass a stack of cash whilst other social networks failed by forgetting that Facebook should make money. So you can bet that changes will help give advertisers more data, tighter targeting and more opportunities. But then ask yourself why a search engine giant like Google wants in on the action?
Twitter and Google+ combined have less users than Facebook. And, no matter how disgruntled folks get, they never actually do leave in droves – a social network without their friends on it just isn’t social.
So why make changes? Cave-painting, the original ‘post to wall’…
If every time Facebook moves a pixel or adds a button there’s an outcry of betrayal from loyal users… surely that goes against elementary customer service 101?
Thing is, if Facebook didn’t make changes then it would have gone the way of MySpace. It doesn’t matter how big you are… to stay market leader in any sector means constantly adapting to keep customers happy and stay ahead of the competition. Sure, some folks simply don’t like change, but it’s inevitable and vital for future growth.
At the moment it’s definitely a case of ‘whatever Twitter/ Google+ can do, Facebook has to do’ (and vice-versa). But that’s what competition is all about. Without change social media would be hiking miles to someone else’s cave to paint a nice picture of the mammoth you saw last week.
Written by Jason John Mills