It happens all the time. You log in to update your Facebook status and find event requests you're either not interested in, or can't attend. You don't want to confirm, but declining feels rude. It's a compromising position to be in.
So you hit "maybe," leaving your friends with a shallow promise that they might see you there. But you know they won't, and you don't feel good about it. Luckily, Facebook is working on a solution to this awkwardness.
Facebook Events content strategist Kathy Matosich said, "It's hella harsh. People hated clicking [the decline button]. That's the language of the button, that's what goes out to the host. It spiders out: 'So and so declined my event, did I do something wrong?"
She explained how the "decline" button failed to leave room for more feedback. Maybe someone wanted to attend, but had existing plans. Maybe they were already scheduled to be out of town. Declining an event didn't have to mean you hated them.
So, Matosich's team put the feature to the test with the hope of finding a better solution. They tested alternative phrases like: Not Going, No Thanks and Unable to Go. And from their experiments the term "Can't Go" was a clear winner.
Throughout testing, when Facebook replaced "Decline" with "Can't Go," people actually began using the feature.
It may seem like a small thing, but Facebook data scientist Ben Bregmann says with a few minor design tweaks, the team managed to double the average number of people who viewed an event. And now, they're also testing the additional response, "Interested."
Currently, this new feature is only available to a select group of beta testers and engineers. But over the next few months, Facebook will be giving more people access.
What do you think? Are you more likely to respond to a friend's event with these new response buttons in place? Let us know in the comments below.