If Facebook launch an app and no one uses it, does it still make an impact?

Facebook-App-Fails

Hey! Remember Slingshot? You know, that Snapchat killer that Facebook released a few weeks ago? Come on! We all use it!

Wait, hang on. The truth is the exact opposite.
When Facebook launched Slingshot, I did as I always do and downloaded it with an eye to coming back to it later.
A week passes and I log in. No messages. I look in the contacts area. No friends are using it. Not one, out of several hundreds. Wow.

Then I take a look on Facebook and amid all the adverts for gym supplements, foreign dating websites a pills that promise personal ‘enhancements’, there’s one thing that’s missing and it’s quite startling. No ads for this new Facebook service.

What’s going on here?

This isn’t the first time Facebook have done this. By ‘this’ I mean, launch a new and ‘amazing’ app that’s going to ‘transform X’ and it seems that whomever is in charge of promoting these apps forgets that the company they are promoting has direct access to 1 billion user accounts.

Let’s look back over this;

  • Home – The Android home screen replacement that would augment your android device with content from Facebook (Hell they even got HTC to launch phone with it pre-installed).
  • Paper – A great way to absorb and get lost in your news feed and nothing else. Gesture based design that was ushering in a ‘new paradigm’ in Facebook’s mobile development and would shape future products.
  • Poke – ‘We were just joking about making a Snapchat competitor, we did this at a Hack event.’
  • Slingshot – ‘Ok, seriously. Now we’re properly competing with snapchat.’ Atempt at ‘creating cool’ for a demographic that is not spending all their time on Facebook and see it more as a pillar of the web (like Google) rather than somewhere to spend all their time.

After looking at that list, it occurs to me that I must have missed one or two others that have come and gone.

Yes, Messenger is going well and needs to considering Facebook have said they will be moving ‘Chat’ out of the main app.

A few months ago, there was a lot of chatter about Facebook’s positive moves in ‘unbundeling’ it’s services so that they could be developed quicker and allow for new functionality. That’s great and something we can all get behind but if the world’s largest social network and second largest online advertising company can’t even be bothered to promote their own products to their existing users, you have to question their commitment to the apps and frankly, the capability of their internal marketing.




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