#4 Facebook Beta — Replacing Friends tab with a Rocket-ship.
If you’ve ever tried Facebook Beta — you know what you’re in for. A lot of experiments. Experiments are good — they let you know if your target demographic is ready for the change and it’s great that Facebook isn’t shoehorning features to the public before beta testing them.
Wait a minute…
Apart from “Stories”, Facebook also seems to be replacing the Friends tab with something quite unusual — because beta testers have no friends?
The second tab is far too prominent to have a huge replacement. However, I’ve seen myself scroll endlessly on Facebook as I consume unnecessary content while procrastinating this Medium series for far too long. (Nice opportunity for an excuse).
My immediate thought was that this is a place for all the Boosted posts. You might be aware of what this means if you own a page. You can essentially boost a post to sponsor it to a certain demographic. However, the posts in this tab seem to be far too mediocre to have been boosted. Maybe it’s aiming to go there.
Currently, I’m noticing posts that aren’t so popular but similar to content I follow, possibly recommendations? Doesn’t make sense with that icon though.
What’s the detail here? There is no detail since we as Beta testers are left to assume what this new tab is simply based on an icon which is a rocket.
Here’s how I would solve this incomplete information.
The detail that could have been included: By replacing an important tab, you make the user know what has it been replaced by instead of letting them guess (even if they’re on beta). Also, it is crucial to let them know where the existing content went.
The Facebook app lacks of any kind of coaching whatsoever in the entire app. They could have used the mascot they chose for the Web app extensively in the mobile app as well.
Remember the dinosaur?
P.S. The Rocket-ship also looks to be cruising around the notification icon (Earth). An Easter egg? I like to think so.