Facebook : Hacking the FAQ

The social networking giant uses named authors to build credibility.

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The feature

Facebook’s online presence for its business customers has a ‘Good questions. Real answers’ section, in which it answers contentious questions in four areas – ‘Ad principles’, ‘Privacy and data’, ‘Safety’ and ‘Measurement’.

Each category covers three questions, which are answered in the form of a quote from a named expert within the company. For example, ‘Does Facebook sell people’s personal data?’ is answered by ‘Mimi, Advertising interfaces’, with a picture of Mimi and the detailed answer in the form of a lengthy quote: ‘We don’t and we never have, but we understand that some people still think we do…’ The answers are supported by links to further information.

The landing page to the section has headshots of all the experts and links to each of the four categories.

The takeaway

Named authors could liven up any online frequently asked questions section. For FAQs covering contentious issues, named experts help to build credibility when many people are likely to be sceptical, as in Facebook’s case.

More conventional FAQs, such as those in an investor section or contact page, could also benefit from this approach. Although credibility may be less of an issue here, visitors are likely to appreciate knowing that someone in the organization is responsible for providing answers to their questions; and in general it gives the impression of openness – no bad thing for organizations trying to move beyond a ‘corporate’ public image.

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First published 20 January, 2020
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