To develop apps and services for emerging markets, it helps to understand what users go through. To that end, Facebook is launching a new internal program called ‘2G Tuesdays.’
The initiative forces employees to use Facebook apps like Messenger and — well, Facebook — on a much slower connection than they enjoy stateside.
Facebook’s engineering director Tom Alison tells Business Insider the difference was jarring at first. “It definitely tested my patience — it felt like parts of the product were just broken.” He also says engineers will “see the places that we need to improve our product, but they’re also going to see the places where we have made a lot of progress.”
The program doesn’t last all day, and is opt-in. If Facebook employees choose to give 2G a shot, it’s only for the first hour or so they’re logged in.
It’s a smart move for Facebook, which also has its internet.org program to help bring connectivity to more of the world. Even with a connection, the chances emerging markets like rural India will see LTE anytime soon are very slim.