Careful: XYDO might just trick you in inviting your friends

04 Mar
04/03/2011

XYDO is a pretty young news aggregation service that recently opened for beta.

Signing up works pretty much like singing up works these days. You provide your email address, password and authorize with Twitter and Facebook. Next XYDO runs through your social graph and suggest friends to follow, who signed up too.

But wait a minute! There’s a subtle difference here.

This is the screen you see right after signing up or when clicking any of the many “find your friends” links:

Once you press one of the buttons, you get this:

Everybody you select in this dialog will get a tweet on your behalf with an invite to join XYDO. As signing up and next starting to follow friends has become so standard these days, I find it a bit annoying that XYDO sort of tricks me into sending out mass invites through my Twitter account.

While the above dialog indicates that it’s not a list of friends who already joined XYDO, I still believe mixing finding friends and inviting friends to join a service is not a good practice. Moreover, if XYDO keeps the design, I highly recommend to at least put a “FIND AND INVITE FRIENDS” label on the buttons of the first dialog.

Yes, the final dialog is explicit about the invitation aspect. But all of the previous dialogs, links etc. only refer to finding friends. I’m tempted to believe, this is a deliberate design decision! And in general, these two very different things should not be mixed up into one feature.

Maybe I’m too picky with these things. But with new services it’s all about trust. And I don’t trust a service where the first thing it tries to do is using my social graph to get viral without clearly, explicitly and in big letters letting me know.

 


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1 reply
  1. Cameron Brain says:

    Hi Ralf,

    Couple points. At the beginning of your post you say “This is the screen you see right after signing up…”. That is simply not true. The Find and Invite friend dialogue is not part of the sign up process; the only way you can get there is by explicitly clicking the Invite Friends button, which is found in the side bars of the home pages and user profile pages.

    Second, we do clearly split up the Find vs Invite processes into two distinct steps. The reason you didn’t see the Find dialogue first was b/c we didn’t find any of your connections who were XYDO users that you weren’t already following. Click the Gmail option in XYDO or check out this screenshot (http://qkpic.com/d2700) to see what I mean.

    All that said, your point about trust is valid, and we aim to continue to earn the trust of our users w/ everything we do. Based on feedback we’ve received over the past couple days, one improvement we intend to make to the Twitter invite process is to allow invites to be sent as a DM if the person you’re inviting is also following you. Will help limit the number of invitation tweets that hit your public timeline.

    Cheers,

    -Cameron Brain
    Co-Founder, XYDO

    Reply

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