What would you answer if I asked you what makes a company a great company or a brand that has earned the loyalty of people? Hits and millions of selling products? Or they have thousands of employees who are loyal to their company, and that could be one of the answers. Another answer came to mind! These companies act on long-term plans and strategies. 📊
This is probably one of the reasons why big companies are so big, because they move on to a plan, not randomly. We could add many more reasons to this list. But the point I want to make is not what causes huge companies to become big, but what is at the root of it.
Twitter, Apple, Netflix, or whatever you can think of, what sets these companies apart is that they do whatever they’re doing in a different way. Be sure that, if Apple were a company that sells water, it would try to do it as differently as possible. Because if you want users to choose you, you must provide a unique product or service. (As with Amazon’s next-day delivery option.)
So what will we focus on today? How do big companies announce when they update their products? In other words, what do they pay attention to when sharing product release notes, what language do they use, and which channels do they use?
Before we set sail on a journey where we review product release notes from major corporations, you’re probably guessing what we’re going to do. For those who don’t know, we’ll take a look at what the product release note is!
What Are Product Release Notes And Why Should Companies Care About It?
Product release notes are a document or set of documents that accompany the release of a new product, feature, or update. They usually include a description of the new product, changes to the old product, and known issues and their workarounds. ⚙️
If you don’t announce a new update to your users, they may not notice it. No one wants to develop new features that are not used.
Product release notes can help businesses keep track of how well their products are performing and identify potential issues. They also provide a way for customers to learn about new features and updates and provide feedback on them.
Also, developing new features and announcing new updates can increase user adoption. This is one of the most wanted things by companies and is key for companies to have a loyal customer community. 🤝🏻
Before we get started, let me do you a small favor: you can read our review of 5 great release notes tools. I’m sure it will make your job easier.
Let the sails set and let the tour begin! ⛵
You have heard this name a lot lately 👉 Twitter:
I don’t know about you, but the conversations between Elon Musk and Twitter excited me. I believed that someone from a different industry and outside the company would approach the subjects with a different vision.
Details that might have been overlooked could be identified or different approaches and features could be developed. However, for now, the deal does not appear to be complete.
Now let’s put all that magazine part aside and see what Twitter does with updates. The points they pay attention to when sharing the product release notes are:
Twitter uses a chronologically ordered page for product release notes:
Twitter has developed a special page to publish product release notes. You can review the updates on any date by selecting a specific year and month. But there is a problem! I guess they didn’t make any updates after January because the other month’s updates don’t appear. 😅
They grouped the updates under three headings: new features, updates, and bugs fixed. Also, Twitter matched the updates they made with the relevant fields. If you are wondering about super follows, spaces, communities, or login updates, you can find them quickly because of segmentation.
The product release notes on the app store are not informative enough:
You can see the updates under the What’s New heading. However, we cannot see any satisfactory information, unfortunately. 😔 The language they use when sharing product release notes is pretty formal for a social media platform. We need to have fun. You are Twitter, be aware of this! 💪
Finally, someone uses the words effectively: Slack
For those who don’t know, Slack is a corporate communication application used by company employees. Besides the announcements in the app stores, they also share the product release notes via the browser, just like Twitter, but there is a slight difference between them.
Product release notes may not have a large readership. But if we will share it, why don’t we strive to do our best? They said: “We’ll return you to your regular, more interesting types of release next time (we hope).” Even if their update fails, we can’t be mad at them for their fun approach. 🥰
Also, Slack changed the colors of its logo to yellow and navy blue to support the Ukrainian people. The most meaningful Slack update ever! 🤗
Let’s take a look at Slack’s updates notes for mobile devices:
Slack team has written a long product release note. It’s obvious that they care about this job. In addition, they have prevented complexity by collecting all updates under related headings.
- Create an elaborate product release note ✅
- friendly language used ✅
- Collection of updates under headings ✅
Slack gets high marks from us! 🍻
Design gets involved: Tumblr
The web pages that the companies I’ve reviewed so far shared their release notes with had very plain designs. Tumblr seems to have raised the bar a bit in this regard. My opinion on this matter is quite clear. If you are a social platform, you should make a good impression in all areas. This includes the web page where the release notes are shared.
Tumblr does something else admirable in its product release notes. Apart from new product updates and bug fixes, they also share future improvements.
This is proof that they are making planned and regular updates. They did a great job up to now while Tumblr updates are announced. Bravo Tumblr! 🦸🏼♂️
If something is good, no change is needed.
Just for a second, I want you to take a look at the examples above. Which appeals to you, the example on the left or the example on the right? I think we all know the answer. If something is good, we don’t need to make it any different.
I’ve also reviewed other examples of older release notes from Tumblr. I hope they bring their creativity back into this business. 🤸♂️
I guess they pay for every word they write ➡️Facebook
I’m not going to talk too much about Facebook or its owner, Mark Zuckerberg. We’ve all used Facebook before, right? At the moment, I have the following thought in my mind about Facebook: It is a social platform used only by the elderly! I apologize in advance if I have readers who use Facebook. 😊
They made a big change by changing the name of their group companies to Meta and it was not an easy decision. Nevertheless, they draw a visionary profile when viewed from the outside, as they follow current issues like the universe of Meta.
I will not be able to give a positive review for the product release notes.
They shared such a short product launch note that I immediately thought they had to pay a price for every word they used! A little effort, a little creativity, a little bit of a regular text. Here’s a better product release note. 🤝
Instagram is a digital socializing space where we share our moments. No matter how bad we are, we never share our unhappy moments. Frankly, this sounds a little weird to me, but we can talk about that another day.
Apps are just like empires. They are born, grow, and die. A similar situation occurs when a new application is released. They first attract people’s attention, are used by large masses in daily life, and one day they lose their popularity.
In order not to be in this cycle and to maintain its popularity, Instagram continues to develop new features. For example, it was extraordinary to follow the concerts of our favorite musicians live on the platform during the pandemic period.
How do they share these release notes?
The part you see above is a section from the product release note shared by Instagram on the web. I didn’t understand much. It would be better if they used simple and non-technical language.
The result is not much different from the others. Product release notes are an indication of the development of our product, and thanks to these notes, we interact with users and share the history of our product with them. These companies may not consider release notes as an important detail because they are so large.
Final shot with one of the biggest companies: Amazon
Amazon really fascinates me with their next-day delivery service. However, contrary to popular belief, Amazon is not just a collection of stores where you can buy things, it is also a large technology company.
Amazon did not write a detailed release note for mobile devices. When I looked at the websites, there were more product release notes for the stores on Amazon. This shows that they care about their business partners as much as their customers.
What all good product release notes have in common: Segmentation
We examined a couple of release note examples and know how it should be. Using fun language can definitely set your release notes apart from other companies. Is it necessary? Maybe companies don’t care about it because it doesn’t make a profit, but if we have a chance to make something more fun, we should evaluate it.
For example, Slack and Tumblr are good examples of this article for writing release notes in a fun way. I wanted to say nice things for Facebook’s notes, but I couldn’t see enough words. 😇
The positive sides of segmentation:
Another feature of the release notes that made a good impression was that they had segmentation. Thanks to segmentation, users or professionals can easily find what they are looking for.
For example, while the mixed release notes cause us to spend a lot of time, thanks to the release notes collected under the relevant headings, we can easily find the part that interests us.
AnnounceKit and feature of segmentation:
Let’s say you own a company with thousands of users. How effective would it be to send the same announcements to all users? I would like to answer based on my own experience: receiving hundreds of notifications or emails that do not concern me is a behavior that distances me from the brand. It’s like trying to sell car perfume to someone who doesn’t have a car. 🚗
Sending announcements or product updates to relevant groups is critical for product adoption and understanding of updates. Let’s examine how AnnounceKit does the segmentation.
- Add Rules: First of all, you can set various criteria for the announcement you want to send. For example, you are a multinational company and you have a new announcement for your France operation. Why would your employees in America see this announcement? By segmenting by country, you can share your announcement only with your employees in France.
- Choosing segment: Let’s say you have 3 different membership types and you have made an improvement for your premium users who pay the highest membership fee. You can only send your announcement about this update to the relevant people. We call it the magic touch of segmentation! 🧙♂️
We reviewed the product release notes of companies operating in different fields. I agree that not many people read these notes, but if we’re posting these release notes, I think we should get the most out of it.
We should gather our updates and improvements under the relevant headings and add humor and fun to the work. This way we can increase product adoption and ensure updates are properly understood. After all, we make all these updates for the users we have. So let’s explain what we do to our users in the best way possible! 🤸♂️
Catch you later! ✌