Thursday, January 7, 2016

Facebook Tests Users’ Reaction to Crashes

Anil Dash quotes an article by Amir Efrati:

Facebook has tested the loyalty and patience of Android users by secretly introducing artificial errors that would automatically crash the app for hours at a time […] Even if the native app continued to not work, the users would open Facebook on their phone’s mobile browesr.

Neven Mrgan:

A depressing fact: even learning of this very deception still won’t make users quit. There is no “choice”.

Basically no amount of abuse is going to make me attempt to convince my uncles to stop using Facebook, so eff it.

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Wow. Just, wow.

Next A/B test: gain permissions to user data, delete it all, see if that gets folks to stop using app...

Can't read the original article for additional context, but this is more common than people probably think, and it not unique to Facebook. Netflix and AWS do similar kinds of "intentionally crashing productive systems" tests, IIRC.

@Lukas Netflix seems to be doing it for a different reason, though.

It's hard to figure out what exactly Facebook's motivation was, since I can't read the original article, but it seems implausible that it was just to see whether people would quit using Facebook if it crashed a lot. Maybe I'm giving Facebook too much credit, though.

"Maybe I'm giving Facebook too much credit, though."

Make that bet 10 times, and you'll lose 9...

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