Facebook has been known as a mobile pioneer. The original Facebook iPhone app was one of the first truly notable native mobile apps, producing an interface and experience that some claimed was even better than facebook.com. Even before the wide popularity of iPhone and App Store, Facebook’s mobile website nearly recreated the app experience in mobile browsers.
Facebook has been continuously evolving their service, adding features and improvements to help them get closer to their ultimate vision of “connecting the world.” But over the last few years, their mobile app began to lag behind. They would release improvements and revamps with great interface changes, but instead of a great experience, the app would welcome users with loading and stability issues. Their latest revamp is arguably the worst experience thus far, as News Feeds and Notifications are rarely loading for most users.
Here we have a chronological list of Facebook’s various mobile strategies. See if you can tell where they might have gone wrong:
- Set the usability standards for a new era of mobile apps
- Bring the same great experience to mobile web users
- Bring the same great experience to the Motorola Razr (This one didn’t work BTW)
- Develop for users who have only ever used Facebook mobile
- Become a platform that other mobile services can use
- Keep the servers running
- Feign a fueud with Google as excuse for not making Android app
- Release Android app anyway
- Change the UI because way too many designers were hired
- Show off the loading animation
- Don’t melt phones
Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg is sick of not being able to get his News Feed or load comments on posts. He’s especially upset that others can’t load the images from his latest hunting trip. Instead of reviving Facebook’s early ambitions for its mobile experience, “functional” will have to do for now. After all, Facebook has to put its priority on figuring out where their revenue went to keep its shareholders happy.