Facebook Addresses Android Issues, Dislike Button, Groups In Reddit AMA

By Justin Lafferty 

Facebook employees love to take part in Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) sessions. Tuesday, Facebook Product Engineer Bob Baldwin (as well as Joel Seligstein, who works on mobile) took on Redditors asking about Facebook’s Android application, the dislike button, and the future of the company.

After a Redditor complained about Facebook’s Android app, Seligstein explained how the company is working to improve the experience:

Well, we’ve been pretty happy with our trajectory and our last few releases. We’re currently investing a ton in architecture and long-term planning for performance, data usage, stability, and reliability. Do you have some specific complaints? … I’m really bummed about the whole updates thing, personally. Getting our users on the newest version of the app benefits everyone, IMHO. Next release should have some battery work done in it, and it’s something we now have a couple people looking into full-time. Can’t really comment on any future stuff right now.

Baldwin also talked about whether or not Facebook would ever institute a dislike button, as has been widely asked:

Actions on Facebook tend to focus on positive social interactions. Like is the lightest-weight way to express positive sentiment. I don’t think adding a light-weight way to express negative sentiment would be that valuable. I know there are times when it’d make sense, like when a friend is having a rough day, or got into a car accident like my sister yesterday (she’s OK!). For these times, a nice comment from a friend goes a long way.

Baldwin on timestamps for messages:

I didn’t build this feature, but I’m a big fan of it and started working on messages just after it was introduced.

Before read receipts were added, we’d often hear from friends and other users that they didn’t feel like the person they were messaging actually got their message. By adding read receipts, it makes messaging through Facebook feel more reliable. It also aimed to decrease the time to it takes for friends to reply, making messages feel more like SMS than email.

The AMA will go on throughout the day, so if you have any questions about Facebook (Baldwin mainly works on groups, photos, and events), now would be the time to ask.

Readers: What is one feature that you wish Facebook would implement?