src=”https://buffer.com/resources/content/images/2022/09/photo-1610215965865-85f9a2ba7ed9.jpeg” alt=”We Took a Week Off to Build Features That Weren’t on Our Roadmap”>
We did something different a few weeks ago.
Every employee in the company quit their jobs, cancelled all meetings and spent a week working with projects that were not on our roadmap.
It was called Build Week.
Why? Buffer knows that the best ideas do not always come from traditional work styles.
In the past, we’ve tried many different work-styles including self-management and OKRs (and scrapping OKRs) and our 4-day workweek.
Buffer has been talking about a Build Week for years.
We had previously held hackathons and paper-cutting sessions, where engineering teams could put aside time to work on projects that were not part of their normal day-to-day tasks.
We went even further with Build Week and encouraged everyone to participate.
A number of Bufferoos submitted ideas to Build Week two weeks prior.
Week. Ideas included small product improvements, as well as new landing pages.
Each person voted for the best ideas and was then divided into small groups of 4-6 people to go to work.
We shared brief updates with the company throughout the week to show our progress. As teams shared their work, the #build-week Slack channel was lively with Loom videos and prototypes.
After 4 days, 32 hours and 80 colleagues getting involved, we had created many new projects. Have a look
10 Product Improvements
Our team was mostly involved in product improvements, both small and large. Although many of these have not yet been released (more later), they have been integrated into the product. Here is what we created:
Attach Google Photos to your posts
It’s now easier than ever to add a Google Photo in your post. You can easily access your Google Photos account by clicking one button and attach the image to your post.
Look for your co-workers’ names next to their posts
You can now see which member of your team wrote each post in your queue.
Buffer has Gravatar profile photos
You’ll not only see the names of your teammates, but also their faces! Buffer will now pull in profile pictures that have been stored in Gravatar.
Analytics for Instagram Reels
Many Instagram users will love this one. Instagram Reels now offers analytics (including reach, impressions, engagement, likes and more).
Analytics for Instagram sent posts
It’s now easier to measure your performance. You can see how your Instagram posts performed directly from the sent posts page. You will see top-level analytics right below the post, allowing you to see if your posts were successful or not.
You can empty your queue by bulk deletion
Are there a lot of posts that have failed? Do you want to start over and get rid of all the posts in your queue? It takes only a click. To clean up or empty your queue, go to settings
Preview videos before you post
You can now preview the entire video when you upload a video to Buffer.
Based on your location, default timezone
When people set up Buffer previously, we assigned them a London timezone as default. This was not ideal for tweeters from Tokyo or people who were posting from Portland. Buffer now uses your browser’s date and time zone to determine the in app timezone.
Campaigns can use twice as many colors
Users could select from nine different campaign colors. We now have nine pastel versions to our existing palette, giving users more choice.
Available on all channels, Hashtag manager
The hashtag manager, which is used to store your hashtag groups, was previously only available for Instagram posts. It’s now available for all channels.
Seven updates that we are unable to release right now
These are just a few of the many things we created. Seven other product updates were also developed during Build Week. However, they are not yet ready for launch. You can keep an eye on our Changelog page and our Twitter account for updates, but here are some features to get you started.
- Recipes: Remove the guesswork and writers block from content planning
- Streaks – Build a consistent posting routine with Buffer streaks. To keep your streak alive, schedule or send posts each day and claim your reward.
- Channel Wizard – A wizard that asks questions and then suggests channels that will be most effective when I start social media for my business.
- Comments on Drafts – Different team members may comment on draft posts.
- Referral codes:Refer Buffer your friends to win prizes
- Weekly report card: A weekly email that documents your social performance over the past week.
- Your Year in Review Just like Spotify Wrapped, but with Buffer. Check out what you have accomplished in the last year.
We expect to ship these additional features very soon.
Buffer’s Build Week was not just about shipping new product features. We also wanted to be involved in other projects. These projects promote our culture and values. Take a look.
Five Culture & Values projects
- The Bufferoo Map: A live map on our site showing exactly where each Buffer employee works from https://buffer.com/map
- 4-Day Work Week Page: A dedicated page to walk through how we operate a 4-day work week here Buffer https://buffer.com/four-day-work-week
- All of our Key Business Metrics Now Available: A transparent dashboard has been created to show all our business metrics (yes, even churn!) https://buffer.com/transparent-metrics
- Time Off Dashboard – Buffer offers unlimited vacation. You want to know how much time we take off? You can now! https://buffer.com/timeoff
- What Buffer Is Reading: Every Buffer employee is entitled to an expense for any book they are reading. This page shows what we are currently reading. https://buffer.com/books
We were able to complete a remarkable number of projects in just four days.
Our progress was amazing. What do you think? Did you have similar results from a Build Week? We’d love to hear from you.
Do you have any suggestions for next time? Send them to this address.