Pizza Hut misses the mark with new Facebook app
Pizza Hut has just launched a new Facebook app, which falters at almost every turn.
I am not saying that it is a bad idea for Pizza Hut to have a Facebook application, where users can order a pie directly, but Pizza Hut has missed the mark by a wide margin here. We are going to have to file this in the, "What were they thinking?" category. Not only does Pizza Hut's new Facebook application not bring anything new to the table, it is just downright annoying.
Pizza Hut has long had a very nice online ordering system, which I am definitely a fan of. For their Facebook application, Pizza Hut has basically taken their regular online ordering site, with some simplified options, and lazily framed it to be in a Facebook app. The only real function of the app is to order pizzas from inside of Facebook. There are no additional social features included to enhance the experience.
The worst part of Pizza Hut's app, however, is not the fact that it offers nothing new in terms of functionality, it's that it spams all of your friends with advertisements. When testing out the application for this post, I went through the process of ordering a pizza, to see how it works. Pizza Hut then felt the need to inform my friends, through a notification, that, "Harrison Hoffman has just logged on to order from Pizza Hut!!!" This notification does not provide anything to interact with. There is no link to Pizza Hut's Facebook app, it is just a blatant advertisement. I think that Facebook will act swiftly to prevent Pizza Hut from doing this for very long.
Until Pizza Hut can bring something new to the table with their Facebook application and stop spamming its users' friends, I recommending avoiding it.
Pizza Hut has responded to complaints about their app in this post, by saying that, "The application has been updated so that you will no longer receive a notification when your friends log on to the Pizza Hut Facebook application. You will receive a notification when your friends place an order from Pizza Hut, but this is a notification that users can opt out of in the application settings." This is definitely progress in terms of making the app less annoying, but the issues of design and features have not yet been addressed. Pizza Hut promises that, "...we're continuing to make tweaks and improvements to the system so that customers have a positive experience." I really appreciate the fact that Pizza Hut is listening and that they have responded so swiftly to this issue.