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ಕೃಷ್ಣ ಶಾಸ್ತ್ರಿ - Krishna Shastry
ಪ್ರಾಣಿ ಹಕ್ಕುಗಳು, ಶುದ್ಧ ಸಸ್ಯಾಹಾರ, ಪರಿಸರ, ಆರೋಗ್ಯ ಇವೆಲ್ಲವನ್ನೂ ಒಳಗೊಂಡ ವೀಗನಿಸಂ ಎಂಬ ತತ್ವದಲ್ಲಿ ನಂಬಿಕೆ ಇಟ್ಟಿರುವ ಒಬ್ಬ ಸರಳ ಕನ್ನಡಿಗ ನಾನು.
ನನ್ನ ಇತರ ಆಸಕ್ತಿಗಳೆಂದರೆ ನೀತಿಶಾಸ್ತ್ರ, ಸಾರ್ವಜನಿಕ ನೀತಿಸಂಹಿತೆಗಳು, ಸಾರ್ವಜನಿಕ ಆರೋಗ್ಯ, ಆವಿಷ್ಕಾರಗಳು, ವಿಜ್ಞಾನ, ಕನ್ನಡ ಭಾಷೆ, ಭಾಷಾನೀತಿಗಳು ಇತ್ಯಾದಿ.

I am a simple Kannadiga following veganism, that cares about animal rights, pure vegetarianism, environment and health.
My other interest include ethics, public healthcare, public policies, innovation, science & technology, Kannada language and linguistic policies.
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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Idea for facebook: Improving the 'offer' feature for businesses

Facebook has a feature called 'Offers'. This is how it works at a high level.

- Businesses can create an offer for free, they can 'boost' it if they want
- People who see the offer can click on the 'claim' button, get more details in email, and finally avail the offer by showing that email

However, there is a fundamental problem with the feature that Facebook can solve very easily. 

Businesses can only see the number of people that claimed the offer, without any details of who claimed the offer; without being able to do anything else with that information other than hoping that those who claim will actually turn up. Many businesses who are unaware of such limitation naturally end up not only creating offers but also pay extra to boost such offers, thinking that it is some smart feature by Facebook, only to feel terribly cheated later. Personally, I have used this feature and have gotten annoyed too, but since I did not spend money on boosting, my frustration was far lesser and more tolerable.

When a person clicks on 'claim' button, it is quite commonsensical to interpret that the person has consented to revealing his/her identity with the business who has put up the offer. However, if Facebook really wants to go the extra mile and protect people's privacy, they can add an additional caution that says "Ohoy, you have clicked the magical claim button and your identity will be known to this business, is that okay with you pal?"

[Ironically, we all know that whenever anyone 'likes' a post or a link or a photo, their identity never remains hidden, because Facebook has not provided 'anonymously like' feature. So, why can we not know who claimed an offer?!!! Hmm... I am thinking, and hope Facebook does too...]

In fact, in this case businesses should be able to demand more info from users WITH their consent, very similar to how it is done while installing new apps. And maybe Facebook can even allow users to type alternate email address or phone number instead of what is linked to their profile. That should be good enough to protect privacy, shouldn't it?

Something more
In addition, if Facebook can also include a feature where businesses can (optionally) mandate customers to pay a nominal fee to claim the offer, it is even better. With that, only genuinely interested people will claim the offer, and most of the people who claim, will end up actually making use of it too as they have paid money to get that offer!

Everyone wins with these simple enhancements

- Businesses will get more intel about who showed interest in these offers, and will get an opportunity to contact them
- Customers will get reminders and maybe better deals also from businesses or bargain opportunities
- Facebook will surely get more and more businesses putting up offers and this means more revenue for Facebook

P.S. If Facebook doesn't want to implement these features, I have a simple suggestion - please remove the claim button and change it to like link, like any other post. Oh wait, then why it should be called an 'offer' anymore?!


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