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Three Time-Saving Product Ideas for #FB

Posted on Sep 13, 2010 in Family and Friends |

Three Time-Saving Product Ideas for #FB

It’s hard to argue that Facebook, with 500 million active users, has succeeded in finding a simple — and addictive — way for people of all ages to communicate. Rumors fly daily about what the next feature will be, how #fb plans to steal your identity, your first-born, your future. But truly, all Facebook really steals from you is your time.

I have no idea how long I’ve been on Facebook. A long time. I’ve been a power user (Scramble games in the afternoon, stalk ex-boyfriends at night), to a casual engager (messages with old high school classmates that hated me back then, but seem to be excited to know me now). I’ve ditched Facebook completely for months on-end. I’ve used it for work, for clients and for self-promotion. I’ve used it as a voyeur, a supporter, a┬áloneliness┬ákiller. Facebook is in world-domination-mode, and there is very little anyone can do to stop its momentum. But, we can curb our own.

I believe Facebook owes us the one thing we can’t get back: Time.

Here are my three product ideas for Facebook that focus specifically on helping us all curb our #fb obsession:

1. Self Timer. Set FB self timers so that you get logged out after X amount of time and cannot log back for Y amount of time. Just think: self-controls for the un-self-controlled. I’d allow myself a half-hour, with a forced 12-hour logout.

2. Give me a way to consolidate down my friends. Afterall, those of us who’ve been using the product long enough have added many people over the years we don’t really need anymore. Or, like me, FB is strictly personal now and not meant for workplace banter. Give users the ability to view, multi-delete and, ultimately, put friends into lists without having to do it one-by-one. That would save me time and get my people all sorted out. While you’re at it, FB could — and should — allow us to download our address books into a .CSV file.

3. Allow us to self-regulate spam and spammers. It’d be helpful to know who was a blabber, a spammer, repost-freak-o-matic. It would save a lot of time if the community was allowed to rank posts — display weighted versions. I know Most Popular is supposed to do that, but it’s not helpful or time saving. Give us the chance to see only truly relevant content. Oh, and if something is really spam, it would be very helpful to just go ahead and get rid of it for us.

At some point (and past the 2011 IPO, right @gseevers?), Facebook is going to have to become a time saver, not time waster. It’s going to have to be serviced-based, it will have to have an easy way to find good nuggets of information, and weed through the junk for us. They’ll have to find a way to let us utilize our own address books for efficiency in our offline lives.