Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Why Facebook mobile is stuck in neutral

Facebook may rule on the desktop, but they still haven't figured out mobile.

The apps for Android phones and tablets are terrible. I know this from personal experience. According to reviewers, the new Facebook Home app works great unless you want to use your phone for its primary intended purpose, a phone. And now comes the news that AT&T will be dropping the HTC/Facebook phone from its lineup because they've sold only 15,000 of them in the past month. For context AT&T sells 300,000 Android phones every month.

How do they keep getting something so important, so wrong?

Let's start with this premise by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
"You're going to be able to turn your Android phone into a great social device. Our phones today are designed around apps, not people. We want to flip that around."
It's all about context and control.

All the features and functions that work on the desktop where I can focus almost exclusively on Facebook become overwhelming in a mobile environment where I may have only a few seconds to check my wall on phone. In order to make order out of the chaos and randomness that is my timeline, Facebook should give me more control and make it easier to for me select the features I prefer in a mobile environment.

They're so busy worrying about "people" they're not thinking about the individual users and how we might want to customize the experience to get the information and content we're looking quickly and easily.

The minute they cede control to the users is the moment they'll begin to succeed in mobile.

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