Mobile Content is Social

Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Tom Watson – Facebook Inc
Justin Shaffer – Hot Potato Media Inc
Michael Sharon – Facebook Inc

This whirlwind tour through various interaction models, content strategies, use cases and interface tweaks will be peppered with anecdotes, secrets and tips to help you create addictive social experiences on mobile. You’ll hear from Michael Sharon and Tom Watson of Facebook, and Justin Shaffer of Hot Potato.

One theme has changed mobile content over the last few years

  • Touch – changed the game.
    1.) size – bigger is better, the keyboard/buttons are gone
    2.) intimacy – you can play with this big touch screen and just tap to interact just by using our fingers.
    3.) control – we’re good at using our fingers to interact with things
  • Speed
    1.) hardware – the amazing advances recently in hardware.
    2.) software – you can get new apps, you can put stuff in the clouds
    3.) perception of speed – software taking advantage of hardware.
  • Cheating
    the network cloud isn’t as fast as it should be. New API’s and dev techniques make the device feel more responsive.

Is Mobile Content More Social?

  • Mobile content isn’t inherently social (you stand by yourself and check your phone).
  • Report: "90% of waking hours spend staring at glowing rectangles." -the onion

What does it mean to be social?

  • You want to talk/interact… people to see your stuff.

How do you facilitate this?

  • Friends
    Include your friends in your device (facebook mobile site). Facebook defaulted the view to order by recent activity. You don’t have to search for a way to be social.

    Address/Contact list in your mobile device: It’s not very social – awkward to add/edit in your device. Create a pure managed address book. Blackberry pulled in facebook info to the address book. Palm Pre created the unified address book by pulling all this contact information together. iPhone syncs photo/phonebook onto phone from Facebook.

    Doodle Jump uses Facebook Connect to provide a social graph/connections into any applications.

  • Notifications
    Active notifications (pay attention to now) or Passive (I’m interested in seeing what has been updated.
  • Sharing
    Photos are a big key to sharing (Facebook). Make it as easy as possible to get a photo into the cloud and tag/describe, making it even more social. Facebook app uses the type-ahead for tagging, making the barrier even smaller to get info in as quickly as possible.
  • Serendipity
    Having a connected device with you al the time, you can post different types of content as well as geographic information. You can see what is nearby your current position (Gowalla & 4Square).
  • Discovery
    You can get a different context for different places and times. Do I want to communicate or just see what people are saying? You can filter a larger audience and get information that is relevant to you.

    Facebook news feed exposes the popular things, and not everything, or just your own things.

  • Control
    Gowalla, Hot Potato, 4Square: all of these show location content. They all allow you to post to twitter and facebook on top of the individual app posting. The user can control where they want that information to go (internal or external). You can/should have control to where, but also the ability to remove things.
  • Intent
    Interfaces should be designed in such a way to illicit the response you’re looking for. Quora mobile interface has a bigger check box for mobile (finger click).
  • Feedback
    The link feedback from Facebook makes you feel good when other people comment/link what you post. It makes you come back and post more. It’s a circle that draws you back in and you provide info, and then get feedback, it encourages you to post again. It’s powerful to provide feedback to your users and let them know what is going on.

    4Square badges encourage you to continue using with game mechanics. You want to compete with friends and get more badges.

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