In a recent move to help its employees better understand what Android users need, Facebook’s chief product officer Chris Cox is forcing an untold amount of Facebook employees to ditch their iOS devices in favor of Android. The move is being made to help Cox’s staff realize how users in emerging markets are experiencing the social networking platform.
Cox said in recent press briefing:
I am mandating a switch of a whole bunch of my team over to Android, just because people, when left up to their own devices, will often prefer an iPhone.
Facebook serves over 1.5 billion people across the globe. And while subsidized iPhones have become more and more popular in Western markets, the ability to purchase an Android device for a fraction of the cost of an iOS device is a very big selling point among users in emerging markets. Android currently holds a massive 82.8% marketshare, according to IDC.
“What we’re really trying to do is build empathy inside of the company and to really appreciate that the people we’re building for look less and less like us,” says Cox.
Earlier this week, Facebook also introduced something called “2G Tuesdays”, where, every Tuesday, Facebook employees get a notification asking if they’d like their application to behave like it was on a 2G connection. If the employees say “yes,” the app will behave like that for the next hour, allowing them to understand what folks on slower data connections experience on a daily basis.