Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Facebook Lets You Edit Your OWN Posts … WHOA

imageIn case you haven’t noticed Facebook rolled out a new feature recently. The ability to <GASP> Edit your posts. Yes. You CAN Edit Yourself.

This is a big deal. There are subtle and not so subtle implications for what this means for Facebook as a tool and for Facebook as a company. As you will see below … Editing Posts, Becoming a CMS, Extending Search … these are just the beginning.

Note: There is an old Facebook Pro-Tip to address this issue. Just add a picture to your posts. Now you don’t have to remember this trick anymore.

Below I’ll talk about the Old Way and the New Way. For many that have used Google Plus / Google+ you know the ability to edit posts has been there since day 1. Perhaps this factored into Facebook’s decision to add this capability, but I think there is more to it.

If all you want to see is how to Edit a Post just read the next section. If you want to know where Facebook is going … and why “Edit Post” matters read on.

Old Way

How many times have you noticed … AFTER you clicked Post that you had a typo or worse?

In the old days ... You when you realized you had a typo or worse:

You went to the post. Then had to Cut the content. Delete the original Post. Paste the content. Edit it. Then Re-post. And … of course, you'd lose any comments.

New Way

After you click Post … if you notice an error. No Problem.

Go to your post. Look on the top right of the post for the Down Arrow. Click on it and you should see an option for “Edit Post” --- click on it. Edit. Click on "Done Editing” on the bottom right and Voila!


Why Does This Matter?

An Example of Editing a Post (as if you need an example), but bear with me for a sec. Editing posts has implications.

Context Matters!

This simple example is just that … simple. But, imagine a much more controversial topic where comments have been added and perhaps tempers have flared. If the author can just go back and change a word or two … the whole context can be changed.


Original Post:   I Love Kittens

Result: Lots of love, kitteh pics and more comments than you can ever imagine.

Impact: Smiles and all it right with the world.


imageModified Post: I Hate Kittens

Result: Now all those initial comments look odd and out of place.  Perhaps, making people wonder: Did they really say that? And mean it? 

Impact: With this topic, possibly nothing.  Other topics … ??? … TBD

The point is: The Context has Changed. Context Matters!

Where is the CMS?

Is Facebook turning into a Content Management System?

  • Is this an indicator of where Facebook is heading?
  • Or what Facebook ultimately wants to become?
  • Will true version control be next?
  • Will Facebook become a real Content Management System (CMS)? On par with WordPress, SharePoint, Drupal?

imageFuture Facebook

Facebook has a little over 1.2B users today. That’s nothing to sneeze at. With this kind of market share they have a lot of power, control and ultimately a responsibility.

Does Facebook take this responsibility seriously?

I think they do and I also think Facebook is looking for their next act. For now they have their hands full with getting the Web App model right and with a rising majority of users accessing Facebook via mobile devices they have the added challenge of getting the mobile app space right. Both of these are very difficult challenges. Especially when they need to be completed simultaneously.

Search is Up First

For example, just this week Facebook announced they are extending the Facebook Social Graph to to allow an initially limited set of people to search posts and comments. This will allow people, any people, to search your history as well as their history.

Caveat: Facebook says they will respect privacy from posts marked as such.

Reality Check: Nothing is private on the internet. If you don’t want it seen … don’t post it.

Secret SauceSearch is just an initial step. This feature will leverage the Microsoft Bing search engine and the relationship with Microsoft (A $240M investment is paying off). Search is the Secret Sauce. Stay tuned on this point.

Back to the headline of this post. I think it’s great to see Facebook add the ability to Edit Posts. There is some work to be done still. For example, it does not seem to work from a mobile client yet. They’ll need to address that. But they are on their way. Perhaps to becoming a more full fledged CMS. My guess is that is an aspirational goal for Facebook.

Facebook realizes that both Content and Context Matter

I’m guessing they are moving as fast as they can to insure their current 1.2 billion users understand, appreciate and USE the platform. But that’s only the starting point.

If Mark Zuckerberg is to be believed, and I see no reason why he shouldn’t, Facebook wants 6 Billion users on the Facebook platform. To get there … Facebook is going to need to keep innovating. Creating a lightweight Content Management System (a CMS) is a good starting point.

And to think … it all started with the ability to Edit Posts.

What do you think?

  • Do you like the fact that you can Edit Posts?
  • Have you tried it yet? Will You?
  • Will you add some sort of comment that you “edited” your original post? Will Facebook?

Drop me a comment here. Or at any of my social contact points below. I want to hear your thoughts.

Image Credit: Brian Taylor

clip_image001Jeff Shuey is a veteran in the Enterprise Content Management industry. Over the past 20 years he has worked with customers and partners to design, develop and deploy solutions around the world. Jeff is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances at Winshuttle. He has worked for Microsoft, FileNet, K2, Captaris, Open Text, Kofax and Kodak. He speaks and blogs about ECM and the Intersection between Social, Mobile and Cloud Computing.

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