Stop Nagging Me! When Social Networks Get It Wrong

Have you ever logged into a social network or app and have a pop up telling you that you need or should do something? I am willing to bet you have. It happens each time I use Facebook on my phone, have a quick look on Klout and now even on Twitter. Social media is social, that means, just like with any other social interaction, you get nagged into things! This article looks at which social networks are the worst for nagging users and if it’s acceptable.

1 – Facebook on Mobile

Each time I open up my Facebook app on my phone I get the following pop up:

SC20130225-222240

I don’t want to but you have no option for opting out so I click “Not Now” knowing I’ll just be bothered about it all over again the next time I sign in. You should be able to opt out of these things, it’s your profile, you already know how to add people you want on it, so, if you really wanted people from your contact list on Facebook, they would already be on there. My contact list is extensive, it’s email address, phone numbers, whatever else is cached on it. I don’t want my whole list on Facebook, I don’t know some of them, they are people I have emailed from previous jobs, asking questions about stuff, questioning businesses about problems I have. Give me the option to say no and then leave me in peace.

2 – Klout

I don’t often look at Klout as I’m not convinced it isn’t a waste of time, but on the odd occasion I look at it for research or to keep up to date, I get this pop up:

Screen Shot 2013-02-24 at 17.22.21

When I click on the “Okay” button, it takes me to Facebook. No Klout, I never added my Facebook in the first place so it can’t possibly need to be re-authorised. This is your way of trying to get me to connect it at all and I’m not falling for it. It says it is so they can generate an accurate score but I only have Twitter connected, will only ever have Twitter connected and so the score I have should be accurate enough and all I need and want.

3 – Twitter

Twitter doesn’t do this so often, but every few days I will get a small pop up at the top of my timeline. The message is different, sometimes it asks me to embed my Twitter feed into my blog, other times it says search for friends or now and then tells me I follow someone who has become inactive and I should tweet them:

Screen Shot 2013-01-30 at 22.19.03

Screen Shot 2012-12-16 at 10.58.37These do not annoy as much as they are far less intrusive. They sit quietly at the top of your timeline, out of the way rather than a huge pop up you need to actively address in order to move on with the app itself. If you must have pop up suggestions to help drive engagement then this is the way to do it.

Conclusion

These apps are all about increasing use and user engagement. This is exactly what these pop ups are about. No one can blame a company for wanting to drive user experience and increase activity, but they need to do it in a way which is friendly, less pushy and optional to the user. This is something that Twitter know and they do it well. Facebook and Klout prefer the stand up in front you shouting it out manner and I don’t believe that is the best way. A pop up is fine as long as there is a “No Thanks” option which you can click and be done with, not to be bothered again. Failing that, having an obvious but out of the way box displaying the message also works.

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2 thoughts on “Stop Nagging Me! When Social Networks Get It Wrong

  1. Your own comment system wants me to log in to some social service that I don’t use :p The like button wanted me to create a wordpress account. A captcha and a minute of forced computational labour for the browser should be all that is necessary to deter spam, why do I have to sign up & in to something? I feel your pain.

    • Ah, the joys of modern technology. The new land of freedom, as long as you apply to all the rules and do as they want and sign up to this and tell all your friends…
      Thank you for stopping by and taking, what appeared to be considerable effort, to comment. Very much appreciated 🙂

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