Facebook Must Focus on Benefits, Not Features

Mashable announced on June 21 that Facebook has added an editing feature to the comments following status updates. We have all made typos while typing away furiously on our smartphones or desktops. Sometimes these errors were minor (lost instead of last) but other times an omission of one word (such as “not”) could change the entire context of the comment.

Facebook’s move to allow users the ability to edit (or change) their comments means one does not have to delete an entire comment to correct an error. To activate the edit feature, hover over the upper right-hand corner and the “edit or delete” option will appear in the form of a small pencil icon on the right side of your comment. Clicking on the pencil will allow the user the option to edit the comment or delete it

This newest feature raises some interesting effects. For instance, one of the best things about social media is its inherent authenticity–which can be good or bad. The addition of this editing feature takes away from the authenticity factor. Moreover, there are a great many other features Facebook could easily implement to drive engagement, shareability, and interaction.

There are varying reports about engagement stats bouncing about the web lately (here is one of the latest). As these numbers continue to lag, stock prices continue to dip, and the proliferation of apps that share (overshare?) everything from what one is reading to watching online, what should Facebook do to add benefits (not just features) and improve the user experience?

 

  1. Implement a tagging feature via the mobile app
    While the Facebook app makes for a more seamless experience on handheld device, there are still quite a few bugs in it. You would think Facebook would have brushed off some of the dust and shined it up as a new penny in light of the IPO but no such luck. One major miss when it comes to the mobile app is as it stands right now it is impossible to tag someone in status update or a comment. This is not the case for the desktop versions, but considering that mobile use is only going to rise, Facebook is missing a major opportunity to improve the shareability of users’ status updates and drive engagement. If users were able to tag each other notifications would make it easier to keep track of who was talking with you and about what.
  2. Reply to comments
    Many active Facebook users garner huge amounts of interest and interaction when they post to Facebook. They have an active audience with plenty of opinions and these folks like to share them. As you know it can become crowded in the comments section of a post. One way to keep the comments section more manageable would be to implement a ‘reply to comment’ feature. No more searching the stream to see who and when someone replied back to you. This would be especially helpful for Pages and Group discussions.
  3. Improved Sharing of Links and Photos Within Mobile App
    Have you ever tried to share a link via Facebook mobile app? First, with the current drag on loading times within the app, links can take forever to load. Second, sharing the link is never easy. To drive interaction and engagement, link sharing should be fairly seamless. Many active users share a variety of content and many want the opportunity to share content via their smartphones or tablets. Facebook needs to facilitate sharing across these devices instead of frustrating and discouraging users.

 

What would you like to see implemented within Facebook? In your opinion, what simple changes could Facebook make to improve your user experience?

 

2 thoughts on “Facebook Must Focus on Benefits, Not Features

  1. For Blackberry, at least, the mobile app doesn’t let you view full group or event pages – it gives you a preview, and then prompts you to go to the mobile site to actually views/post comments and such. Frustrating!