Last week, Facebook announced ‘2G Tuesdays’ so employees can see what using a mobile is like in India.
This week, the social network is telling workers to abandon iOS devices in favour of Android. In a briefing, picked up by The Independent, Facebook’s chief product officer Chris Cox believes the move will better help his staff understand how users in emerging markets experience the site.
“The most awesome stage”
Last year, Facebook's VP of Design thought the TNW Conference main stage was the best she'd ever been on.
“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,” said Cox in a press briefing.
While subsidised iPhones have become wildly popular in Western markets such as the US and UK, Android’s lower price points have made it a runaway success everywhere else, with a whopping 82.8 market share.
But with Android’s popularity comes its problem. As of last year, there are 18,796 distinct Android devices, making Facebook’s job of creating a seamless, unified experience a bit of a nightmare. So the move is designed to help designers make sense of the Android maelstrom.
“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,” Cox continued.
How many internal staff members have empathically binned their iPhones however, is another question.