Another Tweetstorm Rant

I got fed up yesterday with seeing this on my phone all the time

facebook notification

That red notification next to the Facebook app is basically permanent because it is about messages that I need to download FB messenger to receive and clear the notification. I love notifications, they are the primary way I navigate my phone, and I am just a little bit OCD about clearing them. But I don’t use FB messenger. I use iMessage with my family, Kik with USV folks and a few others, and SMS via iMessage for the rest. So I’ve avoided downloading FB Messenger because I don’t need yet another messenger on my phone.

Yesterday afternoon I ran out of patience after seeing a new notification, clicking on it, only to find it was yet again a prompt to download FB Messenger. I decided to rant a little bit on Twitter and fired off the following tweetstorm:

ts #1TS #2TS #3

I am a big fan of the “constellation” approach to mobile apps. Google does it well. Dropbox does it well. Facebook does it well. I think its a trend that will continue because less is more in the mobile app user experience and app developers and the mobile operating systems are making it easier to seamlessly move from app to app, like what happens on the web already.

But there is a bridge too far and I think using mobile notifications to force someone to download an app they really don’t want, just to clear the damn notification, is exactly that.

I’m hoping users and developers reject this approach. I’m afraid they won’t because it has worked so well for Facebook.