Do not give, make them ask for it

People usually don’t like changes. They get used to something and find any new version of it uncomfortable for a while (until they get used again) even if it is a better one.

Today, Facebook made (again) a change in terms of appearance – they call it “the new profile”. Is not their first time they do a redesign/ restructure, and also other popular online platforms did the same over time. And of course there are always people who love it and who hate it.

I will try to recap here some adoption strategies made by popular online platforms when they release a new layout – these are interesting study cases for leading change:

– Facebook gives you now the┬ápossibility┬áto switch to the “new profile” whenever you feel ready, is just one button away. You see there is something new that your friends start to use, and you start to want it to. You do it on your own, you master it yourself. In other words, Facebook made you ask for it! If you updated means that you like it or you just to it to be one of the first ones….in a few days/ weeks people will do it because everybody is doing it (the herd syndrome). And like this, Facebook took care that all the people from early adopters to laggards switch when is their time, their choice.

– In the past, Facebook made the changes on layout over night, to everybody in the same time. Some of those changes were: “Like” button instead of “Become a fan”, a new layout for the fanpages and homepages etc. Of course, the early adopters liked it and the laggards hated it. They were not asked if they want it, when they want it.

– Twitter changed recently also. They called it “the new Twitter”. Twitter made this change gradually, at the beginning to some accounts, and over time to more and more. It was a matter of weeks until everybody had it. Was interesting to see how people were bragging that they “already have the new twitter”, to those who didn’t have it. And so, most of the people were craving for it, waiting for the special day when their account will also be updated. It was a way of asking for it themselves, wanting it, but they could not control when the change will happen.

– Recently, when Google launched some new features like instant search and priority inbox, they left people the possibility to switch to them whenever they wanted it, if they wanted it. No pushing. Of course, everybody was talking about it and many tried because they are curious or at their friends recommendation.

– In the past, when Google was launching something (like Google Wave, for example), they used people to spread it themselves: they gave access to a few people with the possibility to invite x friends too. Again, people were craving for it, and waiting for a friend to invite them. Some were happy to get it, some were annoyed by the long waiting. Again, they didn’t had control but they were very teased.

Just to sum up, when it comes to leading changes, you should try to:
– spread the word
– do not give, let them ask for it
– give them the power to make the change when they want it