Technology with attitude

Facebook Forcing Staff to Ditch iPhones in Favor of Android

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It seems Facebook staffs have little knowledge or rather experience with the Android environment, despite the fact that this platform is home to a large part of the entire Facebook user base.

In a bid to familiarize its staff with the Android experience, the social networking giant is reportedly forcing some of its staff to ditch their iPhones in favor of Android smartphones. While this might seem a little odd, it is the kind of thing that suggests the iOS is huge in this country.

In a recent media briefing, Chris Cox, who is the chief product officer of Facebook said that he was forcing some of his staff to change to the Android-based platform because if given room to choose, they would by default choose the iPhone.

“I am instructing my entire team to switch over to Android, just because when left to choose their own preferred devices, they will often choose an iPhone”, said Mr. Cox. According to the company’s chief product officer, the main idea behind this move is to ensure that the staffs also have an idea of how millions who use the platform and live in emerging markets where the only affordable smartphone is an Android-based device feel.

He also wants his staff to “report bugs and live in the same experience that a huge chunk of Facebook users go through on a day to day basis”.

While it is true iPhones are a norm in the U.S. and UK, emerging markets like India, where Facebook has targeted, Android is the leading mobile OS. To be more precise, Android is the most popular OS around the world, accounting for over 80% of the entire market share as opposed to iOS’s 13.9%.

The latest attempt by Mr. Cox to try and push his team to switch from iPhone to Android follows an earlier attempt by the same company. In 2013, Facebook was working on an Android version of the Facebook Home app when it asked its employees to switch to Android. The result was yellow posters doing rounds in the company’s headquarters labeled with the words “The Androids are coming” as well as a graph showing the predicted growth of this Google-owned mobile OS.

What it means for Android users with Facebook app

Well, while Facebook’s chief product officer might be pushing for the usage of Android in the organization, there is little chance that this will have any impact in the lives of Android users using the Facebook app. Nonetheless, it is still odd that the brains behind the most used social media platform only prefer to use iPhones, yet most of its users are on Android.

Better still, we might end up with subtle or even major differences in the Facebook app for Android, but probably not much.