So Facebook Home is out and has been downloaded 500k times in a week. Pardon me while I yawn. No, but really, is that the best Zuckerberg can do? Release a lock screen replacement Android launcher? Now, don’t get me wrong, Facebook Home is nice, but not only will it never go mainstream, it is also just a fraction of the entire Facebook mobile experience, the rest of which, um… stinks.
The following are 5 examples of how Facebook still offers a pretty inferior mobile experience. For the sake of clarity, I am using an iPhone 5, but most of these issues apply cross platform.
5 Wait, Remind Me Again, Who Owns Instagram?
There are so many more examples of why Facebook does not get mobile, but this one is a true mystery to me. Facebook owns Instagram, correct? Bought it for a billion big ones. So why is it that when I tag someone on Instagram and tweet and share the picture on Facebook, Instagram knows how to find that person on Twitter and tag them appropriately, but on Facebook, it tags them using their Instagram account? How does that make any sense whatsoever? Generally speaking, the Instagram Facebook integration is poor, very poor and the result is that Instagram pictures get substantially less engagement on Facebook than pictures uploaded directly. A billion dollars well spent, I say.
4 Throwing Fuel on the Fragmentation Fire
So you know how the mobile world is all fragmented? I am not only referring to Android, even iOS has its moments. Apps that look and act differently on an iPhone as compared to an iPad. Apps that have the settings within the interface and apps that have it in the Settings option of the OS menu. Well, Facebook wrote the book on fragmentation. Take Facebook Home as a classic and recent example. There are like 5 phones that support it. Why would Facebook do that to itself? No iOS version now or ever. And I am not even going near Windows Phone or BlackBerry. The same is true about the apps themselves. iPhone, iPad, Android, all very different experiences. That is counter productive for users and a bad strategy for developers.
3 Threaded Comments Done Wrong
Oh look, Facebook listened to its users and launched the ability to reply to a specific comment instead of just adding your reply to the bottom of the comment list. Yipee. Wait, what do you mean you can’t do this on mobile? But Facebook JUST released a new update to add Chatheads and Facebook Home, so why didn’t they include threaded comments? Beats me, but it gets worse. Not only can you not reply to a comment in the iOS Facebook app but any comment you write from the app appears completely out of order and you end up looking like you’re talking to yourself.
2 Unfollowing Posts. Or Not.
If you are an active Facebook user, which statistics dictate that you are, you know how annoying it is to comment on someone’s post, then get bombarded with notifications when anyone comments after you. So on the Web, you can unfollow the post so you don’t get such notifications. Oh, don’t worry; you can do it on mobile, too! Want to know how? Here you go. Open the Facebook app and tap the button to open the side menu. Then scroll all the way down and tap Account Settings. Then Tap Notifications. Then tap the post you want to unfollow, and tap Edit > Unfollow. Makes perfect sense, right? Can’t make this stuff up.
1 Editing Posts. Or Not.
It is truly unbelievable to me that in 2013, it is still impossible to edit a Facebook post from your mobile phone. Really, can someone explain to me how this happens? Was this how that meeting went? Facebook employee: “Hey Mark, how about we let our users edit their posts so they can, ya know, fix typos or correct mistakes?” Mark: “Golly gee, how did I not think of that before? Great idea. But let’s exclude a huge chunk of our audience, the part that generates a large percentage of our revenue. Editing posts, yes. Mobile, no”. Yea, ok, got it.