Hello everyone !
Did you know that the average Facebook user has 141 friends on Facebook ? So on average, each week 2.7 people will celebrate a birthday. Now, as for these 141 friends, there are some people’s birthdays that I’m going to automatically remember. Realistically, I would actually forget many of them if I didn’t have a some sort of calendar. Unless you are Rainman, you’re probably not going to remember all of them either.
What is one to do…check your calendar every day ?? Sure I can do that, but then it means that I have to check the calendar and then actually send the person a Facebook message. But if you’re like me, you probably spend a little bit of time on Facebook when you have some downtime, whether it is in between TV ad breaks, when you’re waiting for something to happen or just simply bored. You just don’t make it a routine to check people’s birthdays and then write to them. And then there’s the times when you’re just busy with everyday life…where you meant to write to someone, but just forgot….even when it was staring you right in the face !
So to fix this problem I had, we created a really neat feature in this app called “Select Many Friends”. What it allows you to do is select more than one friend and then write the Facebook post in advance. And then on the correct day, the app will remind you to post the message on the person’s wall…complete with your pre-written message (…I’ll tell you why after).
So let me take you through this :
I have five friends who have birthdays coming up this week.
What I’m going to do is select four of them and then pre-write a message to each of them.
Now, I’m not much of a writer…I don’t write long fancy posts. I’m more of a “Happy Birthday mate, hope you have a good day !” kinda guy. Short and sweet, right ? For this example, I’m going to just write “Happy Birthday !” to each person and then ask the app to remind me to post it on their Facebook wall at 1:30 PM each day.
…and like that it’s organised. I’ve pre-written a simple “Happy Birthday !” and now all I need to do is wait until 1:30 PM each day and my app will pop up and remind me to post a message on their wall…
Now, all of this took me 30 seconds to setup…which is all the time I need in between TV ad breaks.
You might say that this is lazy and that this is impersonal; that I’m using an app to remember people’s birthdays and to automatically send messages to people. And this is true…I AM using an app to remember people’s birthdays. I am writing messages in advance and saving it. What I’m also doing is making sure that the person, whose birthday it is, gets a message from me on their birthday. Their birthday could be the one day of the year where they feel like they are the centre of the world. And getting a message from me (or you) might just add to their wonderful day.
You could even say that they may not even notice that I forgot to wish them a happy birthday on the day. But what happens if I bump into them tomorrow ??? Alternatively it’s your birthday and your friend forgets to wish you a happy birthday and then you see them tomorrow. It’s kinda like the ‘thank you wave’ when driving…you let someone into your lane and then they don’t even give you ‘that wave’. Grrr !
One thing we strongly considered was automating the messages entirely – creating a ‘set and forget’ function where the app would just send out messages without reminding you. But then we thought about some of the consequences, particularly if you forgot that you had scheduled someone a message and that person was no longer alive. Awkward ! Worse yet, if you had scheduled a message like “Happy Birthday, can’t wait to celebrate it with you soon” and then you unfortunately pass away. What do you think would happen if the message was sent ? Happy Birthday from the afterlife. Double awkward…and so very creepy ! This is why we thought a daily prompt to authorise each post would be a far better idea.
Anyway, on a lighter note, I’ve just received the iOS version to play with…so I’m off to put that through its paces and see if it is ready to go.
We’ve spend a bit of time coming up with this feature so I’m very interested to know your thoughts ?