The Day Facebook’s App Strategy Suddenly Made Sense

I’ve been annoyed at Facebook for some time. Not because of anything particularly serious, but because of the irritating habit they have of creating standalone apps for various functions.

For example, there are now apps for:

  • managing your pages
  • sending and receiving messages
  • sharing private photos with friend and family
  • managing groups
  • managing adverts (as an advertiser)
  • … and more.

This is all before we get to what I would call the “main” Facebook app. You know, the one that lets you use Facebook as a social network.

All of the core functions used to be in the Facebook app. You could send messages, chat, manage photos, and, of course, post to your timeline and your pages. So why on earth has everything been separated out into different apps? It frustrated me no end.

And then one day it made sense to me. I decided I was spending too much time on Facebook but I didn’t want to leave altogether because I manage a couple of pages; one for Geek-Speak and one for my IT company. So I deleted the Facebook app.

Suddenly I wasn’t tempted to spend all day looking through my friends’ status updates. If I wanted to do that I had to load the site in the browser and that pretty much meant I would only do it when I was sitting at my laptop. Yes, I know Facebook works in a mobile browser, but I never really got into the habit of using it like that. The key thing is that I was still able to send and receive messages for my pages, still able to keep my pages updated, and still able to keep up with what was happening in a few groups that interested me without the temptation to get bogged down in what I previously thought of as the central Facebook experience.

Now, you may very well be reading this and thinking, “Duh – tell me something new”, but I had never considered ditching the personal part of Facebook before and now that I have… well… Facebook’s app strategy makes sense to me. It lets me tailor which parts of the platform I want to use. Sure, if I want to use everything it means I have to have a load of apps on my phone, and that’s still a bit annoying, but it also means I can cut out any particular app and disregard that part of Facebook.

I still check Facebook regularly, and I’m still fairly active on my personal timeline… just less so than I used to be, and you know what? I feel better for it.

This blinding flash of the obvious has been brought to you by the letter F :)

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