Facebook Lets You Select What Bothers You with Red Dots
Every active Facebook user knows how strongly it distracts to see red dots on any tab of your Facebook app. It can be new videos available to watch, new friend requests, reactions and comments, and – especially – messages you cannot open in Facebook core app anyway. But, probably, this annoying element isn’t a necessity to put up with anymore.
Red Dots Personalization
Jane Manchus Wong, an app researcher and reverse engineering expert, now Facebook finally considers letting users turn off certain sports of notification. If this is fulfilled, you will only see the red dots on the tabs you’re really interested about. Say, if you don’t care about what videos your friends upload, or what goes on in your groups, or who wants to be your friend (because you want no one), you can tell this particular section “do not disturb”.
This is the way you can personalize your Facebook experience when this control feature is rolled out. It will be delivered to both Android and iOS apps, and both are now being tested, as Wong says. There will be a special section in Settings, letting you select what badges should be shown.
Though reminders are a good way to poke users and make them visit certain tabs, the company is aware that many users are just annoyed by red dots requiring your attention for no actual reason. Facebook, she says, realizes that users can handle their notification policy on their own if given proper tools.
This innovation seems just an ordinary trial-and-error, but, in fact, it represents a significant turning in interface and notification philosophy. It was considered throughout the last decade that the user should be involved as deeply as possible, and the interface of the app should foster using it more. Red dots are a part of that process, and they seemed to belong to the sacred cows of design.
When you only see a dot that can mean anything in your inbox, you’ll have to start the app to see what’s up. It can be a friend request, a message, an invitation to an event or a new deal in the official group of the neighborhood you left long ago. Not all of them are equally useful to you.
The new approach will let users select the sorts of notifications that the app will display. Others won’t bother you (though you’ll be able to access them in the app). That will make Facebook (as well as other services) less addictive, and its users less nervous.
It’s probably more than just caring for users’ comfort. Facebook leaders are certainly aware of digital addictions, working hours wasted at mobiles, or lives taken by a momentary loss of attention. Maybe the company makes its app less of a digital drug; at least we hope so.