Facebook is testing again. . . or maybe that should be still. It seems like they’re always moving things around and trying little tricks to get you to spend more time on the page.
This week it’s the “presence dot” and the profile push.
First, an eagle-eyed reporter at CNET discovered tiny green dots in their newsfeed. These dots, which appear next to a poster’s name in the feed, means that person is currently online. Click the dot and a message box opens so you can discuss their recent update.
A year ago, I wouldn’t have given this idea a second thought, but in the past few months, I’ve begun to use Facebook as a way of seeing if my friends are online before I fire up Skype. It’s a quick way to locate my friend who spends her evening playing Facebook games, but I don’t care for the actual chat mechanism, so hi-ho, hi-ho, a quick message and it’s off to Skype I go.
By placing the online indicator right in the stream, it’s more immediate and I imagine it would encourage more people to impulsively open the chat box. More chatting means more time on site and that’s always a good thing for any website.
Your Profile is (insert percentage here) Complete
A TNW reporter was part of a different test this week – the profile completion push. When Emil Protalinski signed on to Facebook, he found a blue prompt bar asking where he grew up. He was also told that his profile was only 90% complete. When he admitted that he was indeed from Toronto, just as Facebook suspected, he received a pretty blue check-mark and a 100%. Hooray!
Now that Facebook is slicing and dicing user data for marketing purposes, these profile boxes are more important than ever.
When I logged in today, I didn’t find any blatant requests for information, but Facebook still wants me to fill in the blanks. As you can see, I haven’t satisfied their needs in regard to my workplace, my city and my relationship status. That last one is the one I find most offensive. Does the world really need to know if I’m married, single or in a complicated relationship?
At the moment, Facebook is okay with me leaving these questions unanswered but if they start blue prompting me every time I log in, I’m going to rebel. I get this enough at YouTube and LinkedIn. Take the hint people, if I didn’t fill in the box, I don’t want to fill in the box. Let it go.
Is your Facebook profile 100% complete?