Observing Facebook Mobile Use in the Real World
Facebook, the most popular website on the planet, still has a terrible, if not utterly awful mobile experience. Whether you are using Facebook mobile through an iOS or Android device, the experience is the same: bad. Yet, according to comScore, Facebook users spend more time accessing the social network on smartphones than on computers. The question is, why?
I won’t sit here and lecture you about the rise of mobile because we all experience it every day. We know that mobile is the future and the death of the PC may be on the horizon. The question is, why do people continue to suffer through a subpar mobile experience to check their Facebook?
I was recently at a concert; a loud, crowded, hot (and a tad bit sweaty) venue. I look to my left and right and I see at least five people on their mobile devices checking Facebook in between acts. I also used my mobile device but Twitter is my go-to social network. I waited in line to get a drink. During the five minute wait, the three people ahead of me were on Facebook for the duration of the wait. A dude even took a little extra time because he had to show his friends a conversation he was having with a female over Facebook, but bar etiquette is for another post.
Being someone who lives in the space on a daily basis, I tend to “unplug” when not in the office. Facebook has lost its touch with me and is really only relied on for coordinating events, sharing media or responding to my aunts, uncles, parents messages. To me, and the compadres that I have spoken with, Facebook is no longer the poster child for early adopters. Yet, it is still essential to connect with the majority population.
Recently a survey by CNBC shared that my generation believes Facebook is on the decline. Whether it be the continuous influx of apps, games and ads invading the network or simply because of the terrible mobile experience, I tend to agree.
What us early adopters and “social media wizards/gurus/elitists” need to remember is that we do not make up the majority. Facebook will live on because of those 20 people I saw at the concert accessing it multiple times in a 3 hour window. It is still the communication tool of choice for the population.
With the purchase of Instagram, GoWalla and Glancee, it is safe to say Facbeook should be revamping their mobile experience in a very serious way. If they are succesful in doing so and revolutionize the mobile experience, I believe the early adopters will show more support for the network that started it all.
Until then, I’ll fire up Twitter to check for news and if I am feeling like checking in on my mom, I’ll turn on the ole Facebook.
PS. The concert was awesome (photo courtesy of @evcon)