Facebook lately has been very good at providing regular and frequent updates to its service. So much that it has often come under the gun for updating too much to the detriment of its user experience. I have been last to critique them on this however, as I think it’s a good thing to be listening to your users like they have, releasing early, and releasing often as users give feedback towards the experience. I think it’s a major reason Facebook is still growing and still surviving despite Social Network users being the type to easily get bored of new technology. There have been several launches recently which, IMO have been very loud and powerful in the way they were announced and the affect they would have on users. You probably read about them because they were talked about on almost every major Tech blog when they were announced. There’s still one major problem though – myself and numerous other users still haven’t received these features.
Let’s start with the launch of one, as a heavy FriendFeed user and strong advocate of real-time updates, hits near and dear to my heart. The Facebook stream live updates were announced over 3 weeks ago, claiming to provide you with a live update of new posts in your stream when they appeared. A simple click on the link should make those messages appear. While not completely real-time, it’s a step forward, and something I’ve been really looking forward to for over 3 weeks. You can see my profile, after over an hour of not refreshing on Safari here – note there is no link with new updates:
Here’s how it should look, according to Facebook:
It should also be noted this looks the same if leaving Firefox stagnant, or running on Windows, or any other machine or browser. This isn’t an OS or browser issue it would appear – it looks as though Facebook’s deployment routines simply haven’t gotten to my user account. It would appear I’m not alone in this either. Asking about this on Twitter about a week ago I got numerous responses from other Twitter and Facebook users who also were not yet seeing this in their stream. A Facebook employee even kindly suggested I was supposed to be receiving this. I responded saying I wasn’t, but still have not received any feedback in return from Facebook.
It would appear that’s not the only thing that is having trouble rolling out lately though. Over a week ago, Luke Shepard, a developer at Facebook, announced a very welcome feature launching Facebook into a much more open era. The feature enables users to link their Facebook accounts to their Gmail accounts and other OpenID providers, making Facebook an official OpenID provider. Also, according to Shepard, users would be able to register for Facebook by simply entering their Gmail credentials. “Now, users can register for Facebook using their Gmail accounts. This is a quicker, more streamlined way for new users to register for the site, find their friends, and start exploring,” he said.
The problem is that I still don’t see a way to do this on Facebook. I can link my Facebook account with various OpenID providers and even Gmail, but that’s only if I have an existing account. However, there is no option when I log into Facebook, or when I try to register with Facebook to login or register with my Gmail credentials or other OpenID credentials as he says. Am I just the last person on their deployment list? I know I’m not the only one because this was pointed out by someone else with the same question. If I can link my OpenID profile with my Facebook profile, but can’t login or register with it, what good is this announcement?
It would appear something seems broken in the Facebook deployment process. Either it’s just really slow, or not all users are getting the updates they’re supposed to be getting. Or are we getting these announcements just to get the marketing spin machine going? It would appear that this blogger is not on that list if it is the case! Regardless, I’d really love to have the updates we were promised!
If you’re seeing the same issues, let it be known in the comments. You can follow me on Facebook at http://jessestay.socialtoo.com.