(Sorry I had to quote Major League, it is the first thing that popped into my head.)
When Facebook shifted to a new system for feeds there were a few other changes that occurred. One of them was a second level of recommendation on the right hand sidebar where not only was Facebook suggesting friends but people you should connect with engage. The goal is obviously to get people that signed up and not really using Facebook or people that have abandoned it a little to engage.
One of the bi-products of this is that people that are deceased, who obviously haven’t used Facebook in awhile, are showing up in that feature is not only probably a little upsetting but even a little classless. I don’t know if this issue was thought about when designing the feature or if it was and they pushed forward knowing that engagement would outweigh the problems that arose?
It is fairly certain that Facebook doesn’t want to abandon this new feature because of the potential traffic it can drive so their solution is to create a memorialize feature, users need to let Facebook know when a Friend or Family member has passed and they will lock down the account and lock in the privacy settings.
Initially I thought that this was insulting and not the way to handle the situation. A LARGE portion of people don’t know about new settings features or changes in Facebook. Nor do most users care. These results are still going to keep showing up and there will continually be backlash against it. It looked to me that it was going to turn more people off to the site than anything else.
However Facebook was smart by having an employee that had lost a friend write about this on their corporate blog. An action that initially came off as kind of being heartless and all about driving traffic took on a human face, told a story, and made me sympathize with them. Also it explained the new feature in a very human way. I have to say I was impressed how Facebook handled the situation.
What do you think?