As much innovation that Facebook and Google have inspired, they’ve also made their own share of mistakes. While some of their features and products are released only for testing, some never make it post the hype stage and some are withdrawn just a few days after they are released. Let’s check out a few Facebook features that didn’t quite make the mark, notwithstanding the issues on privacy, of course!
Facebook Lite was launched with the noble intention of helping users on slower broadband and other internet connections so that they can enjoy their daily dose of Facebook. But because the Lite version excluded all the third party applications that ran on higher bandwidth and offered only restricted features, users weren’t exactly enthralled. Facebook Lite was introduced in India, Canada and USA before it was eventually phased out in April 2010, eight months from its release.
Designed by former Apple employee Susan Kare, Facebook Gifts allowed friends to send each other virtual gifts by selecting from a range of items available in the virtual gifts shop. This product was launched with a valentine themed collection to boost sales and donated part proceeds to charity. After the launch of this product in 2007, Facebook changed the payment structure from $1 per gift to a credit-based model of 100 points per $1. In 2008, the shutdown of this product was announced, with no specific reasons being stated for its failure.
We don’t know if we should believe this slow moving Facebook feature to be failure or not. Much touted to be the "Gmail Killer", this Facebook feature was expected to totally erase Gmail from the face of the internet. Obviously, it hasn’t quite done its job yet! Launched in 2010, Facebook introduced its integrated Inbox through which every user gets a [email protected] email address which includes instant messaging, text messaging, emails and other regular messages. The dwindling popularity of this mail-integrated platform doesn’t present much hope for its future.
It’s interesting how both Google and Facebook attempted to enter the area of online offers and deals, but miserably failed. Lasting for just four months from its launch in January 2011, Facebook offered online coupons and discounts from local businesses in five tester cities with users being able to use Facebook Credits to get onto deals of the day. Unfortunately, this failed Facebook feature couldn’t even ruffle the surface of its competitors like Groupon and had to be shut down abruptly.
There you have it – 5 Facebook Features that miserably failed – Facebook can’t get success in everything after all!