Social Network Connections Glitch: Explained

We’ve received some messages from users facing a bad experience with social network connections on Scoop.it; a fairly colorful collection of messages in fact, ranging from rather engaging ["Dear Scoop.it, can you please explain"], typical of Scoop.it community’s style, to less constructive but quite clear nevertheless ["Go f****"].  It’s become clear that something went wrong here. Something that deserves to be investigated, explained and remedied.

The problem: Some users of Scoop.it Free have been requested to signup to Scoop.it Pro in order to reconnect a Social Media account (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, etc) to their Scoop.it account, even though they had such connections working in the past. They were, quite rightly, surprised and disappointed by the degradation of service.

This unintended behavior of the system was due to the conjunction of two events. Let me explain each of them and more importantly, let’s remedy!

The first event is a change in the functional perimeter of our packages (Free, Pro, Business). Namely, the Free package now supports a smaller amount of connections to social networks (for the “share” function). Similar changes occur every day: we are constantly tuning our packages, adding features, answering users demands, correcting bugs, optimizing, etc, in the quest for a subtle balance between serving our users as best as we can and operating a long term, viable business model (the former calling for the later).

The second event was a bug in the LinkedIn API (the connection between LinkedIn and Scoop.it). This bug disconnected the LinkedIn accounts of some users. Randomly and completely beyond their (or our) control. Obviously, if you have been disconnected by the system and then prompted to sign up for the Pro plan to reclaim your connection, you may become angry. In fact, you should. I would.  But, this was not intended! While developing a sustainable business model based on premium features is a legitimate and required objective, we did not intend to degrade the experience of existing accounts. All connections established prior to our change will be preserved.

The remedy: we will simply re-enable the lost connections. However, we cannot reconnect your account ourselves: reconnecting requires your password! So we will keep our help desk open for you: if you have been victim of such a disconnection please contact me (ally@scoop.it) and we will re-enable the correct number of connections for you.

Thank you again for your patience and understanding – technology can be a scary thing sometimes, especially when it decides to do things on its own without our permission. We’re not happy this happened, and we’re even less happy that you’re not happy about it. Please accept this explanation, and I look forward to speaking with those of you who have been affected.

-Ally

About Ally Greer

Ally heads up community management, social media, and customer support at Scoop.it. She loves to geek out over anything social, Internet, or tech related. When she isn't working, you'll probably find her running the streets of San Francisco. Follow Ally on Twitter @allygreer.