Dear Mark Zuckerberg,
How’s everything going? From the looks of the Facebook blog, I wouldn’t say it’s going well. Let me just give you a few highlights from the war zone.
- “Thank you so much for these changes. I now have even less reason to come to Facebook.” -Karen
- “Seriously, How can Facebook remain silent in the face of 94% displeasure with the redesign?” -Tanzil
- “If 90% of McDonald’s customers didn’t like the new Big Mac, they’d change it back. Come on Facebook, learn from New Coke. Admit an error and give us classic Facebook back.” -Ben
And there are approximately 14,000 more comments where those came from.
I returned from spring break on Saturday to see your new design. I must admit, I had to do a double take to make sure I wasn’t logged on Twitter. It seems you redesigned Facebook to oust your competition. But with 75 million users, I don’t see how Twitter’s two million can be considered competition. Some could even see this decision as a retaliation against Twitter for not allowing you to buy the company with $500 million in cash and stocks back in November.
It’s clear that the masses you serve aren’t happy with the latest changes. Besides the 14,000 comments I browsed through on the Facebook blog, your users have created a new application to vote on the new design. The result? Over one million users voted AGAINST the new Facebook, and 560,000 of them left negative comments.
From the reports I’ve read online, it seems your own employees aren’t happy with the new look either, but you don’t seem to be listening to them. Owen Thomas from Valleywag wrote an article entitled Even Facebook Employees Hate the Redesign. Read this excerpt from the article:
The feedback on Facebook’s new look, which emphasizes a stream of Twitter-like status updates, is almost universally, howlingly negative. Why isn’t CEO Mark Zuckerberg listening to users? Because he doesn’t have to, he’s told employees.
A tipster tells us that Zuckerberg sent an email to Facebook staff reacting to criticism of the changes: “He said something like ‘the most disruptive companies don’t listen to their customers.’”
Really, Mark? Is that what you think? Because your public relations people are telling us “Facebook is attentively listening to user feedback.” You obviously have a public relations nightmare on your hands. Truthfully, I’m not exactly sure how you’re going to handle it. But Facebook users are not going to become magically satisfied overnight.
Perhaps Joe, a commenter on your blog, said it best. “How much negative feedback before you rethink this decision?”
Since its founding in December of 2004, Facebook has pioneered social media usage. With the additions of photo albums, applications and status updates, you have remained at the forefront, but as you drastically change the layout you are only doing a disservice to your site, your users and yourself. Before the recent change, Facebook had its own identity in the social media world that set it apart from its competitors. I suggest capitalizing on Facebook’s unique identity by restoring its prior layout, thus satisfying its users and maintaining its superiority above the rest.