Exercise 95 – How can you improve Facebook Stories?

Post and review answers and feedback to answers in the comments section of this post.

See also:

How to answer a product improvement question in a product manager job interview

List of product improvement questions for product manager job interviews

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TK

My take on product improvement for Facebook Stories

1. Describe the product
Facebook’s mission is to connect people, establish and foster connections between them. Stories are a fun and spontaneous way of keeping your friends updated with what’s happening at your end. For Facebook, user generated content is extremely important. Considering the decline in sharing of status messages and the clutter in an individual’s news feed, Stories is imperative for Facebook in order to create high quality user generated content and increase engagement among users.

2. Scope of the question
Ask the interviewer if there is anything in particular we should be focusing on, otherwise carry on.

3. Metrics
Some of the metrics I feel are important are:
a) % of users creating stories and new users creating stories
b) % of followers viewing one or more stories
c) % of followers responding / reacting to a story
d) Retention among story creators (Story creators creating more stories)
e) Average session time

The metric I want to focus on is the % of people creating stories. If we can increase this, it will lead to increased adoption of stories, increased engagement, more connections and will drive Facebook’s core mission.

4. List down user groups
a) Power users – these people are already well aware of how stories work. They create stories on an ongoing basis and engage frequently with their followers through this medium
b) People who view stories and want to get started with creating stories. They have been viewing stories of other people in their network and are encouraged to try doing so themselves
c) People who view stories, but haven’t thought of creating a story
d) People who don’t view stories but spend time on the feed

I would like to focus on the 2nd category of users, i.e. those who view stories but haven’t created a story themselves

5. Some of their use cases and pain points are the following:
a) They may not now how to create a story
b) They may think it’s cumbersome to create a story
c) They may not feel comfortable sharing stories with everyone
d) They may be short of ideas for content in the story
e) They may not be aware of the benefits of creating stories

I will prioritize these use cases in the following manner (from highest to lowest)
c, d, e, a, b

6. My solutions
a. Allow a user to select whom should be able to view your story. While creating a story, I should be able to select which group of users this should go out to. If I want, I should be able to remove particular users from viewing the story. Maybe, I only want to share this story with my family or with my friends or with my work colleagues
b. I will use data to predict when one is likely to create a story. If someone has been tagged in specific types of events, ex. are on vacation / playing a sport / eating out. Based on this, I will prompt a user to create a story around that particular situation through notifications scheduled dynamically (some sort of processing will be required to not send too many)
c. I will create collateral highlighting some of the benefits of creating stories- ex. reach out to people in a personal and fun way, undivided & uncluttered attention and the number of people within my network who are sharing stories.
d. I will use data to predict who are the kind of users most likely to create stories. Some of the parameters to be considered could include age, number of followers/connections, engagement on their FB posts (likes, comments), whether the user is creating stories in other social networks owned by Facebook. To these people, I will send out periodic emails or push notifications which will also highlight the benefits of creating stories along with call to actions
e. I will create an interactive tutorial which shows how one can create a story in a stepwise manner- adding a picture, recording a video, adding titles, adding symbols or colors

7. Evaluation of solutions
a) Already is there in Facebook posts, should be easy to implement for Stories too
b) Requires analysis of past data to see if stories created were preceded by any event, such as a vacation/trip, eating out, going out for drinks, playing a sport. Based on this, we will need to model an AI solution. There will be significant user research, planning, A/B testing, UI/UX, engineering required for this. Also, too many notifications will annoy the user so we may need background jobs to send these dynamically
c) Easy to do as it involves creating of material and distributing them at the right places
d) Requires analysis of past data to see which kind of users are creating stories the most. There will be significant user research, planning, A/B testing, UI/UX, engineering required for this. Also, too many notifications will annoy the user so we may need background jobs to send these dynamically
e) UI/UX and design intensive, how it seamlessly fits in with stories, should not affect experience of others who are well versed with stories
My prioritization for these solutions from highest to lowest is a, c, e, d, b

8. Measuring performance of solutions
a) % of people using this feature out of all people creating stories
b) Conversion rate: % of people engaging (click through) with the notification, % of people creating stories after receiving this notification
c) % of people who have never created a story who viewed this collateral
d) Conversion rate: % of people engaging with the notification, % of people creating stories after receiving this notification
e) % of first time story creators who viewed the entire tutorial, % of first time users who created a story with the assistance of the tutorial

9. To summarize, we discussed Facebook stories and various segments of users and their engagement with Facebook stories. We focused on users who view stories and know about it, however have not yet created any stories. We looked into the pain points of these users such and thought about solutions which could initiate them into creating stories

Look forward to feedback on my answer. Thanks for reading!

jay
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jay

Describe the product

FB stories allows users to share videos and pictures of user generated content. that can be viewed upto two times and will disappear after 24 hours. This product is built around in app camera that allows users to add fun filters as well as geo location filter. They appear at the top of the feed and users can tap on image of users and get access to it. Users can also reply with a direct message. Users can also choose to share the story on newsfeed which wont disappear unless the user chooses to delete this. Users can also choose to view all the stories on top of their feed. user journey would look like

1) access the camera on FB by swiping right or click on your story circle on top on the feed
2) record video/ take pics
3) create story and tap send button to share this with your network

Clarify the scope of the question

Does improving means increasing engagement?
Does driving engagement means making it more easy to create and consume user generated content?

Background : FB saw a huge decline in people generating user generated content such as status/ images and instead sharing news and other random links sharing has increased. FB stories was a feature that was introduced to make user generated content fun and engaging. The daily # of FB stories are approx 150MM. Historically, sharing of user generated content has shifted to smaller networks like snapchat, instagram and whatsapp etc. FB stories allows to bring this feature to 2B users who have never been exposed to ephemeral content.

what problem is this solving?
Stories was also able to solve a problem where users expect content from friends and family such as status updated, photos, videos etc. but their feed was filled with non user generated content which was not a great experience.

Choose a metric

Possible metrics to consider for engagement
– active users of stories daily : 100 M ( assumption)
– number of stories created per day is 150M
– number of stories consumed daily ( say 100M )
– average number of stories created/ active user : 1.5
– average number of stories consumed/ active user :1
– increase adoption of stories for new users

for this exercise we will focus on increase adoption of stories for new users . The reasoning behind choosing this metric is making it easy for new users to try this feature and this will increase usage of app > increase consumption of stories due to user generated content(we know this drives engagement)> aligns with FB’s mission of connecting people> aligns with news-feed values of make it more engaging> will drive ad revenue because it is better content and provide value to advertisers.

List the user groups and select yours

– power users: these are heavy users that post 25 stories(assumption) per day and spend 2 hours on the app over 24 hours
– regular users: this is your mean user and are users for this feature and post 1 story a day and spend 35 mins over 24 hours
– occasional users: they users dont interact with the story feature and spend 25 mins over 1 week time period.

for this exercise we will choose occasional user who has never used story feature.

user pain points

– user is unable to find meaningful content because the feed is filled with non user generated content
– user doesnt know how to create stories

why doesnt the user know how to create a story?

is this due to lack of understanding this feature
is the value not clear to the user
user doesnt understand the steps clearly
user has never tried this feature
We will focus on taking meaningful actions on the app on an on going basis to drive engagement.

list of solutions

user journey : occasional user uses this app few times in a given week. they open the app and start scrolling immediately to get access to latest news. other content.

step 1 build a new feature on boarding
prompting list of activities that users can do similar to how quora prompts on right side of the screen. linkedin also focuses on profile completeness as a way to drive people to perform specific action.
a) create a simple prompt that pauses the user feed and ask them to take a look at the story feature and how it works video/ UX flow . it should be natural and not appear to be a separate product.
b) show them stories that their connections have created to help them see how cool it is
c) reinforce the fact that stories will disappear within 24 hours ( maybe this is not important to the user) and ease of creation
d) walk them thru a step by step story creation with the option of skipping/ closing this UX.

2) create a feedback loop if a user takes action, reward such a virtual balloons can be an example( will rely on UX designer for this idea)

The goal is to take incremental steps to guide users discover this feature, post his first story and also help him create new stories and also use filters. make this a fun experience.

Evaluate solutions

1) solution a, b , c and d engineering cost : m UX cost : H and impact : H
2) solution 2) engineering cost: M, UX cost: H and impact: M

I believe both these need to happen to create a great UX flow.

performance metrics

identify number of first time users who tried stories
on going metrics: what % of first time users are posting more stories and see an increased engagement

ad metrics: this can also improve as these users improve their experience.

summary

I would focus on improving new user experience for fb stories and help user learn about this feature, use this feature successfully and drive both engagement and revenue metrics.