Every now and then I find something on the internet worth saving. One of them happened to be a rather innocuous image showing off Flipkart’s pricing snafu from last year’s highly touted Big Billion Day sale.
Like most pictures on my smartphone, it was automatically uploaded on Dropbox that’s linked to Timehop- an app I use to check out past activity on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram over the many years I’ve been using them.
Just so happens that Timehop threw up the aforementioned picture. Considering that this year’s Big Billion Day sale was around the corner, I felt it was a good a time as any to tweet it so people know what to expect from a company that’s become VC funding blackhole instead of well, a website where you could buy stuff.
What I didn’t expect was a slew of retweets and interactions about it. Sure, India’s a country where everyone loves a good deal but this was unprecedented. It also showcased some highly amusing behaviour.
1. People on Twitter don’t notice things
In a year Flipkart has been steadily moving towards an app only model, pushing both deals and detritus on your phone. It makes sense for them as it allows them to access more of your data. Therefore, from their standpoint, it’s only logical to have their marquee event an app only affair, which has been communicated heavily across all possible channels. Although it seems to have fallen on deaf ears and blind eyes if this is any indication.
The picture I tweeted was of a deal on their website from last year’s sale. Timehop neatly labels images to indicate how old they are and watermarks them as well. It seems that a precious few bothered expanding the image before tweeting and even fewer realised that this wasn’t representative of this year’s sale since it was website screenshot and not from an app.
2. Flipkart’s own chief product officer was clueless
I’ll let the screenshots do the talking for this point.
A few hours later:
Flipkart support chiming in was the dummy laughter track on an already hilarious sitcom.
3. Everyone loves to outrage
Remember the last time Flipkart offered great, “I-got-to-Tweet-about-it” service? It was when Nokia was still relevant. The e-commerce space has heated up immensely since then and everyone loves to see a big company screw up. All it took to get the Twitterverse rabble rousing was an old screengrab and a hashtag.
Manipulation in time of social media is tremendously easy. But most of you already know that. Be aware. Trust no one. Question everything.