Funhouse Photo improvements

I spent a lot of today working on Funhouse Photo. My first goal was to add notifications to user’s feeds when they updated their status. This was top of my list because it would improve the user experience by spreading the pictures and captions they created more widely. It should also help spread word about the app, so I’ll be keeping an eye on the user figures over the next few days to see if it has an impact.

My old picture choice used a two-step process; first picking the picture, then the caption. I had to cut that down to a single stage so I could add the feed item at the end. To do that, I integrated the caption setting with the picture choice, which left the picking page looking a bit more cluttered, but simplified the flow.

While I was working on that, I discovered a bug that must have been lurking for some time. I was always calling require_login() at the start of my PHP page generation, but for most of what I was doing (adding items to the profile, etc) it made more sense to call require_add(), since that gives the needed privileges. This meant that all the links designed to lure in new users would fail to produce any results, and instead the only way to get the application was to manually add it! This actually made me feel a bit cheerier about my user figures, since they were jumping through more hoops than I thought before they could install the app.

While I was researching that (there’s no documentation on those calls) I also ran across fb:profile-action. This lets you add a menu item below a user’s picture, which is perfect for Funhouse Photo, so while I was working I also put one of those in for folks who’d installed the app. Now when you’re browsing a profile, you will see a ‘Funhouse this photo’ link below the portrait, which I’m hoping will help the engagement level with the app.

As always, I’ll be watching the figures to see what difference this makes.

Funhouse Photo
User Count: 798 total, 59 active. A little worrying, since I think this was the exact total I saw a few hours ago. It seems a bit unlikely that nobody added it in the last few hours, so I’m hoping that it’s a glitch in the stats reporting rather than a bug in the app that’s preventing users from adding. The active total is a lot lower than I’d like, we’ll see if my recent changes help that.

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