For as long as Ancestry had been in the Autosomal DNA business the genetic genealogy community has been requesting the addition of a chromosome browser. Why should Ancestry cater to this community? What has this community done for them? Here is partial list:
- They are the best unpaid spokespeople the company has. They explain how the product works and how best to use it with presentations at conferences, on videos posted online, and in blogs.
- They increase sales of the product through the same presentations.
- The Facebook International Society for Genetic Genealogists group has 5,975 members (and growing). Whenever Ancestry has any kind of announcement or sale the news is posted here, and everywhere by genetic genealogists.
- Serious genetic genealogists buy multiple kits. Using the ISOGG Facebook site as an example if, say, 3,000 of these members buy an average of 5 kits that's 15,000 kits sold.
- I know that those who head the genetic genealogy community have increased sales for AncestryDNA by much more than 15,000 kits.
- The word of mouth at sites like Facebook is probably one of the best advertising tools Ancestry has. The genealogy community in general at Facebook is very large. The genetic genealogy community members have non community members as friends, and they read our posts about testing at AncestryDNA and become interested themselves. I would think I have probably been responsible for around 12 (maybe even more?) people testing with Ancestry, and I'm not as influential as the others.
- The genetic genealogy community also contributes some of the best researched, and most extensive trees that Ancestry has.
- A majority of the members of the genetic genealogy community use a chromosome browser to compare their segments.
- Comparing shared segments helps us to identify which family lines we are related on.
- The size and number of segments is an important factor when it comes to determining how strong a match is.
- Remember we had twice or three times more matches just a week ago. Many of us wasted a great deal of time on low quality matches that are now gone. Let us see the quality of our matches with our own eyes so we don't waste valuable time.
- Working with a chromosome browser is educational and expands our minds. It's great to show this feature to children, and grandchildren, to get them interested in science. My Circles are fairly static so far. Some people have no circles. Don't think they will generate long term interest.
- Sustaining interest is another good reason to introduce testers to segment comparison. Collecting segments gives people a reason to come back to the site. Static circles won't. New matches will mean more segments to compare. These new matches may not fit into a Circle.
- The best argument is "Trust but verify" your results. You can only do this with a chromosome browser.
The new tools are a step in the right direction, but not good enough.
The argument against providing a chromosome browser has often been privacy. So why not do what 23andMe did and require those comparing to consent to do so?
AncestryDNA would get more positive word of mouth at social media sites if they provided a chromosome browser. I see a great deal of negative posts about AncestryDNA's refusal to provide a chromosome browser. Imagine the boost to sales if the posts were more positive!
Please demonstrate your appreciation to the Genetic Genealogy community for all they've done for AncestryDNA and add a chromosome browser.