How to lose users – example by MS, FourSquare and Facebook

Microsoft was the third company for this Summer to make a major screw up with it’s users through a service update. First it was FourSquare, who creating a completely new app, forcing it’s users to migrate. FourSquare was an unique app for Check-ins, one of the first of it’s kind. There are many users proud of major badges and different achievements for check-in on regular bases and huge variety of places. Now all that data will be impossible to use as FourSquare turns into a Swarm – app for finding new location, rather than check-in. There were series of articles and opinions spread on the web with attitude “Goodbye FourtSquare”.

Same scenario happens with Facebook. Facebook made a separate app for it’s messaging functionality. Yet, users are unhappy that they have to keep one more app on their deck, open one extra app instead of do the same thing from the previous. There have been reports of excess bandwidth and battery usage. All that and more lead to making Facebook Messanger app number 1 on App store, but at the same time with rating of only 1 star. Here is one good user review:

I just deleted this garbage. I only downloaded this app because Facebook removed the chat feature from their normal app, which was about the only thing I used it for. In addition to most of the other complaints here, which are mostly valid, I would like to add that this app blasted through almost my entire data package in less than two days, even when I was not using my phone at all. So in response I am removing all of Facebooks apps from my phone and just using the regular website through my mobile browser, which fortunately still does everything, doesn’t mine my texts/contacts/accounts, and doesn’t chew up any bandwidth when I don’t have it loaded. I encourage everyone else to do the same; you don’t even need any of their poorly designed and incredibly invasive apps when the regular website in safari still does everything you need.

And now it was turn for Microsoft to introduce a new series of updates for Skype. To be honest, I started hating skype already from the beginning when it was bought by MS. They introduced this ugly layout where you would see all pictures of friends, which would load each time you start the program… would be slow scrolling through the list. The implemented that crappy Facebook integration, when I just wanted to have only Skype and no extra bullshit. Than there were the annoying adds. I used websites like Old Version to get versions from the good old days, but than those versions weren’t working on Video Call with people using the newer versions. For the past few weeks, I had to cancel an annoying popup for updates each time I was turning on the program. But one day I simple couldn’t log in… and I got the message “We’ve signed you out because you’re using an outdated version of Skype.” I was just shocked. What if my computer is not that powerful and newer versions crash on it? What if I don’t like your newer crappy versions? What if I just want to have the option to make my own choices and not be forced in updating and etc.? I made a research and I found so many outrages comments on Skype forums that you can’t imagine (example one, example two). There were many posts edited to censor some words. Pretty much the attitude is that people will leave skype, this is what I’m going to do, too. I’ll find another way to make skype calls with my family – may be I should simple live closer to them or visit them more often. My friends can mail or text me instead of IM.

skype failure

I updated so I can let people know that I’ll be deleting my accounts and where to find me. After the update you get a message “We’ve updated Skype so you have the latest version – including performance improvements and general fixes.” Wait, what? I thought it was me who updated and pressed the button, not you! Than, what the hell are those performance improvements and GENERAL fixes that require such a “undemocratic” procedure for update?! Also, many people still using XP (probably can’t afford better computer and stuck with this particular OS) complain that the new skype doesn’t work, cannot connect, crashes… One guy complained that now he has tons of new connections of restaurants, cafes, bars from around his location and that he can’t remove them…

I don’t know, I’m supper confused. I always thought that big companies have respect for their users and are very careful with introducing new features and updates. You need to make series of researches, usability/user test and just then when you have the positive data – make a change. It’s time to give them a lesson. On the other hand, why always change? What if something is complete? If we always look to change, we will never be happy with what we have because once we get used to it, it might be “updated” for us!

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