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Docs for Facebook Evolves

Docs for Facebook Evolves

From the outset, our FUSE Labs team developed Docs for Facebook as a "continuous service," meaning we would continually evolve the service based on real-time feedback from users.

When we launched docs.com, we weren't sure whether Facebook users would find sharing documents of value, and if they did, how frequently they'd share them, and whether the value would simply be in uploading documents, or in editing and collaborating. As a result, we developed the service with the goal of continually improving it. Rather than a long development cycle, we felt it more prudent to ship early and work with the community to understand how they want to discover, create, and share documents within Facebook.

Since launching, we've received quality feedback from users, and updated the service in many significant ways:

  • Provided short URLS for every document.
  • Added a download link for every document.
  • Improved Facebook profile page integration.
  • Adopted the Facebook photos tab approach, which allows photos to be visible to the owner, to friends, or to everyone. We're mimicking this for Docs.
  • Improved document thumbnails.
  • Added the new Facebook "like" and "share" buttons.

Also, recently we've turned our attention to additional requests, such as:

  • The ability to select a friends list with the sharing control
  • The ability to post a document to a Facebook fan page, such as our docs page
  • The ability to more easily discover popular public documents

The early response from users has been very encouraging. If you haven't already, I hope you're intrigued enough to give Docs a try. You can learn more about our service by viewing this screencast, or by following our updates in Facebook, via our docs.com blog, or via twitter docs4fb.

We look forward to receiving your feedback as well. You can submit your input about the service at getsatisfaction.com/docs.

Pat Kinsel is a product manager within Microsoft's FUSE Labs, which is responsible for incubating new social software concepts and ultimately for working with other product groups within the company to bring them to market. Pat led development of Docs for Facebook from concept to public release with responsibility for defining product goals, user experience, and Facebook integration; and for managing collaboration with the Facebook engineering team. Previously, Pat has built several social search applications within FUSE Labs, including recently, when the lab partnered with the Bing Social Search team to bring Bing.com/Twitter to market in October 2009.

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