How would you improve Facebook Birthdays? - Product Improvement
Facebook Product Manager Interview: Product Improvement - How would you improve Facebook Birthdays?
How to Answer Product Improvement Questions?
Here is a step-by-step framework, you should follow while answering product improvement interview questions during your interview:
0. Pay close attention to the keywords in the question.
1. Describe the Product. (P)
2. Ask clarifying Questions to trim down the scope of the question. (Q)
3. Define the Goal you want to achieve. (G)
4. List the User Segments and select one segment to focus on. (U)
5. List and prioritize the Pain Points for that segment. (P)
6. List out your Solutions to solve those pain points. (S)
7. Evaluate all the solutions and prioritize them. (E)
8. Define Metrics to measure the performance of the solutions. (M)
9. At the end, Summarize your answer (S)
(PQ-GUP-SEMS) -> Mnemonic to help you remember the steps & their order.
Let’s get started with the solution (remember to follow the framework),
Step 1: Describe the Product. (P)
Once, you are clear with the question, start by explaining your understanding of the product. Cover the following things about the product,
What does the product do?
Who uses it?
How are they using it?
What pain point is it solving for the users?
Facebook is a social media platform that mainly focuses on letting users share parts of their life using images, texts, videos, stay connected with friends and family, and to discover, share and express what’s matter to them.
It has multiple more elements like the messenger, marketplace, groups, games, jobs but for today's discussion, we will focus only on Facebook’s Birthday feature.
Facebook Birthday allows users to add their date of birth in their profile and depending on the privacy setting, their friends get reminded to wish the user on their birthday. Friends can then send their wishes to the user either by posting on their Facebook wall or by directly messaging the user on Facebook messenger and making them feel special.
Facebook also has a birthday listing page where it shows the list of all the upcoming birthdays of their friends and some of the recent past birthdays too. So users can plan or pre-wish birthdays to their friends.
Facebook can be accessed from a desktop web, desktop app, mobile web, and mobile app (Android, IOS, Windows).
Some of the competitors of Facebook are TikTok, Snapchat, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google, WeChat etc.
Step 2. Ask clarifying questions to narrow the scope. (Q)
Q) What do we mean by improvement here? Improve user engagement? Increase user retention? Increase revenue? Increase new user acquisition?
A) It’s up to you. You are free to choose.
Q) Is there any problem with the current feature implementation? E.g. are people not wishing their friends enough? Are there any particular set of metrics that is affected or we want to improve?
A) User Engagement around Birthdays is dropping.
Q) Are we focussing on any particular platform like desktop web/app or mobile web/app?
A) All Platforms
Q) For the improvement are we focusing on a particular region or target group?
Step 3. Define the Goal you want to achieve. (G)
Facebook's mission is “to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together”. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what's going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.
This feature fits perfectly with the mission statement of Facebook and since birthdays happen each year, for every user and this simple nudge to initiate conversation between a group of users is another smart way to increase the daily engagement and retention on the platform. However this feature has been there for a while but no major UI or UX enhancements is seen till now due to which may be there is a gradual drop in engagement with this feature.
I feel improvement in user engagement is something it needs now that aligns very closely with this mission of Facebook. Also, an increase in user engagement will also lead to an increase in user retention for Facebook.
Step 4. List the User Segments and choose one segment to focus on. (U)
There are multiple ways you can divide users segments for this problem,
Based on User Role:
Users who receives birthday wishes from their friends via wall post or direct message on messenger.
Users who sends birthday wishes via wall posts or messages to their friends or acquaintance.
Based on Feature Usage:
Users who wish other facebook users on their network often ( almost every day).
Users who wish other facebook users in their network sometimes ( almost once a week).
Users who wish others facebook users in their network almost never (once in a few months).
Based on User Type:
These are family members, friends, co-workers or people with whom they might regularly engage in real life.
User knows more about this person’s non-facebook life and usually interacts with more than other users on facebook.
User is unfamiliar and doesn’t know much about this person outside of what they share on facebook.
I would prioritize the Birthday Wisher user segment since they form the largest cohort who drives this feature usage and improvements in this segment would result in growth in engagement and retention in the platform.