Order Books are the confidence trigger on the long term viability of the company, so while I understand ppl may have been impacted or not in their strategy, long-term you should be happy with their introduction.
If you didn’t realize, Covid put your entire bankroll at risk.
With Instant Sell banked by FI, the company needs to keep a huge cash liquidity to be able to fulfill withdrawals at every moment. While the total market cap of the shares is around 130MM, FI does not have 130MM sitting in a bank account waiting for you to withdraw. Without having any insight in their financials, I estimate they have fixed costs of around 20-25MM yearly atm (to pay ~100 employees, software, building, deposit bonuses, promotions). On top of it, they are giving out ~20MM in dividends this year (correct me if I am wrong).
Are they making 40-45MM in commissions this year? No, not really, with Covid the profit they make with commissions may be just half of it from what we know.
So the Instant Sell function was leading them to keep huge amount of money idle in their account waiting for doomsday events, instead of investing in growth, infrastructure etc, but this sum would have never covered all the requests of IS, which would have generated more panic selling eventually sending them bankrupt in the worst case scenario.
So they were very fast in disabling IS which saves the entire system from collapsing.
With order books, they have no more liabilities. If you are selling, somebody is buying (market sell or matching engine).
As long their fixed and variable cost < profit from commissions, no other event can impact their p&l. Moreover, they can lower the amount of reserve they have just to a minimum, unlocking the possibility to spend that money elsewhere, from divs to promotion to marketing to software. If you were trusting the company before and willing to take the risk of investing in virtual shares, OB should increase your confidence more than ever. Again, your strategy may be impacted short-term (I have 1000s of shares of 50p players as well), but you should be more confident that the company is evolving in a more mature direction.
Other than that, I agree they need to invest in better communication and software