A lot of people have been talking about Facebook’s new Nearby Friends feature for their mobile app, which gives users the ability to see which friends are nearby. But less discussed, and perhaps just as significant is another change—to a more contextually-relevant Facebook profile.
In the past, when you checked out another user’s profile, you would see the same static information including their profile photo and links to their friends and “about” pages. There were two problems with this. First, the information is rarely updated, so it becomes stale. Second, if you don’t know the person, it takes a bit of digging through their pages to find out if you know them or have anything in common.
The Facebook iPhone app’s recent update addresses these concerns by taking a contextual approach. Specifically, it presents more personalized and dynamic information, such as whether you and this person share any mutual friends, whether you happen to live in the same city, and what the friend has been up to recently. The app also prioritizes this information, so it’s one of the first things you see after you click on a user’s profile.
In fact, we’ve seen this trend in mobile apps – the best apps are moving away from static web-like experiences and are delivering more personal, relevant content, fast. In my report, The Best And Worst of Mobile User Experience, I found that leading mobile user experiences share common attributes that separate them from the pack. These leading experiences: