Website as space: Reflections on Facebook abandoning deals


Why are people in spaces? To do certain things. I move to a space to achieve certain things. I go to the playground to play, I go to blackberry bushes to pick blackberries, I go to work to … well, work. All these spaces have individual things about them which make them the right space to do those things that I want to do.

The web is the same - it’s much easier to move between spaces, but the individual spaces that you go to each have their own merit, each is set-up, architected if you will, to suit the achievement of certain things.

What has this got to do with Facebook and Deals? (Facebook ending Deals product after four-month test) I think Facebook simply misunderstood it's own space, people do not go to Facebook to shop, they go there to socialise, to play, to catch-up with friends. Having deals included is kind of like that awkward moment when you're out in a bar somewhere enjoying a drink with friends and someone you don't know wanders up to the table and tries to sell you something!

There's a moral here somewhere - never plan your web spaces around the technological feasibility of something or fashionable choices. Psychology needs to dominate your decisions, you need to know why people are in your space, identify why they've some to your space and build new products or offerings around the resultant needs.

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