A little while ago, Facebook introduced its new chat sidebar. As part of a whole raft of other changes, this was the most visible. It changed the chat pop-up box to a sidebar that could be permanently attached to the right hand side of the page and contained a selection of users that you interacted with the most, whether they were online or not. As with most of the changes that Facebook makes, there was a large outcry from Facebook users saying that it was an awful decision.
Now I generally have liked most of Facebook’s changes, but it seems to me that there is no logical benefit for this change. But knowing that Facebook does what it does, I went about learning to live with it.
Now it seems that Facebook has listened to its users, and modified the changes it made. Now, instead of showing just a selection, there is now a link at the bottom of the chat sidebar which says “More Online Friends” and clicking on that will jump the chat sidebar down to show you more friends that are currently online. You can also now scroll manually the sidebar which is a great addition.
This is something that anyone who is in business should take note of. You should always look at ways to improve your product, and when you do make changes you should stick to your guns. However, when there is an outcry against it, look at why there are complaints and see if there is a way to modify your changes to update your product to be what the user wants as well.
- Facebook Rolls Out Changes to Chat, Other Experiments, Leads to Problems (techcrunch.com)
- Facebook Reorganizes Your Chat List – Again (mashable.com)
- Facebook Adds “More Online Friends” to Chat, Returning the Complete Buddy List (insidefacebook.com)