I stumbled upon this article which appeared in my timeline on Twitter. It read ‘Facebook has ruined birthdays’. It immediately caught my attention and I followed the link to read more. The blogger has expressed his displeasure about over usage of Facebook for wishing friends and family on birthdays and ignoring the real human way of doing it in person. He says, ‘We used to get cards. We used to get calls. We used to get visitors. Today, we get wall posts’. And he is so true to some extent.
It made me think of how a site like Facebook whose mission is to make the world more connected and bring people closer is unintentional doing the reverse in many cases. Of course being just an online site it has its own limitation but Facebook can surely do couple of things which will help users make occasions a little bit more personal and human.
So I thought of listing down few steps that Facebook can take to make Birthday wishes more personal , social and human.
Facebook can suggest me greeting card apps which I can use to send personalized greeting to my friends on their birthdays. Facebook has so many greeting card apps on it, may be it can suggest a few from its app center.
Suggest users to send a Voice message:
How about recording a ‘Happy Birthday’ message right inside Facebook using an app like Soundcloud and sending it to a friend’s wall? It will be cool and more personal to log in to Facebook and listen to a friend’s voice on birthday?
This can be done now, Facebook just needs to promote this a little bit.
Show ads of gift merchants/florists
I am not sure if Facebook does this, haven’t experienced it yet.
Just a few days before my friend’s birthday, Facebook can show me ads of gift shops, gift related websites, florists, etc. Unlike Google, a user on Facebook is not searching for gifts before birthday on Facebook (he can’t) but that latent purchase intent is always there. Facebook’s intelligence based on user data and knowledge of upcoming friend birthdays can enable it to target users with such relevant ads.
Hope somebody from Facebook listens to this. What are your thoughts? Please share your comments below. Thanks.
P.S. – There is nothing as great as a giving a broad smile and a warm hug to a friend on his/her birthday.