Wednesday, September 21

Winning? Not Today.

Le sigh. There's no winning.

Okay, so a few things about today's changes on Facebook. No doubt you've heard the complaints, the irritation, the rants, the vents, the general goings-on. If you didn't, you might be the only person on the planet - or you're not online.

I get that it's new. I get that it's different. I get that you liked "the old way". I get that you now have to "learn this". But seriously...c'mon, people. Think about this, as said beautifully by this someecards card:

Here's the thing: Facebook can't win with everyone. Think of it like road construction; we all bitch, moan and whine that it needs to be done - the potholes are terrible, they're eating our car, the government needs to fix this - and then we bitch, moan and whine when it's being done - it's an inconvenience, it makes our travel time longer, it's a pain to sit and wait. Let's be honest here, shall we? If the Facebook of September 21, 2011 looked exactly like and performed exactly like the Facebook of September 21, 2008, we'd all scream and curse and rant and rave that it was "behind the times", "outdated" and we'd ask what in the name of all things techie they were doing in those offices.

If you'd like to see a perfectly good example of what happens when a company stops innovating, take a look at RIM. There are many news stories out there all clearly illustrating that lagging behind has hurt this company more than anyone could have believed. Other companies moving ahead and doing new things that delight and captivate their customers means that the lack of the same at RIM is highlighted fantastically - though not so much for them. When they released their new lineup of phones just a few weeks ago, there were loud cries of "Too little, too late!" - I'm 150% certain that's not the reception they dreamed about the night before launch.

Maybe it's because I'm very much an online person, but I embrace changes like these. Facebook employs an entire team of developers and creative minds whose sole purposes with the company is to innovate and create change. As of July 2011, Facebook has more than 750 million active users. I find it pretty impossible to even suggest that a company that has amassed that sort of user-base doesn't know what it's doing. Even if you're not a fan of the platform, I think it's safe to surmise that they've got a grip on what's going to make their product better or worse. Maybe they could make their plans a little more publicly known, sure - but as I said to a friend (on Facebook, no less), why should they bother? They're not going to drop from 750 million users down to 14 individuals because they didn't hold a press conference before rolling out changes. People will adapt, the same as they always do, and in a week's time no one will remember what September 20, 2011's Facebook looked or behaved like.

The changes are here. Why not spend time getting to know them, find out what's nifty, helpful, interesting or new and embrace them? That's what I'll be doing.

What are your thoughts? Should we expect a message every time a free service/platform upgrades? I'd love to know what you think!


Anonymous said...

I cannot fathom the sheer amount of emails Facebook would receive if they announced ahead of time all the changes they were planning to implement. Not to mention NOTHING would ever get done. I recall once when I mentioned a week ahead of time that I was planning on being away for a week or so. I got over 300 emails in one day ranging from "Have fun!" to "You can't leave me!", It's really quite pathetic when you think about it. Facebook doesn't whine and complain when you change your socks every day, what gives you the right to complain about things they change? Personally, if you don't like the changes, feel free to leave the site.

Erica Ayotte said...

Le sigh represents my sentiments exactly. BFD, people. This happens every time. Then 750+ million people get used to it.

You make a great point--you can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs. If FB never updated anything, people would complain about that too. I'd rather see them change and fail with a few things then have them not change at all.

Oh and my favorite are the people who threaten to deactivate their accounts if the older version isn't restored. I wonder how many of them actually do...

Tab said...

Erica, that's a peeve of mine as well - mostly because here's the stark truth: Facebook doesn't care if you deactivate your account because of their progress. You're a speck among 750,000,000 - that's a lot of zeros. ;)

There are lots of comments out there about how FB is "trying to be Google+" or "epic fail - just like MySpace!" - I think both are ridiculous. If ANY company has shown it has staying power, it's Facebook. Again, love it or hate it, they're good at what they do.