Facebook has initiated a new program that will see its entire staff get a taste of the experience of using the application in developing markets that are often characterized by slow mobile internet connections.
There are over 1.5 billion people on Facebook and a huge chunk of these users come from emerging markets. In a bid to show its staff the experience these people go through when trying to access the services of Facebook on their mobile phones, the company has introduced a program known as ‘2G Tuesdays’ where all staff members will be urged to access the services of the social networking site for one hour using 2G connections.
This news was first reported by Business Insider and according to the report, ‘2G Tuesdays’ will be optional to the Facebook staff and it will not last an entire day. However, this will form part of an amazing experience for the group of workers who get less travel time or basically don’t travel, as they will for the first time get a chance to experience what other users in countries with poor internet connections go through, when using this social networking service.
Close to 1 billion Facebook users live outside the U.S. and Europe
As pointed out earlier, Facebook has over 1.5 billion registered accounts and a few months ago, the company recorded its first 1 billion per day usage on the platform, where it reported that up to 1 billion people were connected through the platform on a single day. Of the more than 1.3 billion monthly active users, close to one billion users are outside the U.S. and Europe, which makes this initiative a smart as well as essential move for the company.
When you use Facebook on 2G network, it is easy to feel as if you are using a total different application. This can only be told by someone who has actually used this type of connection. In an email statement to TechCrunch, a Facebook spokesman noted that the company is aware of the fact that “more and more people from emerging markets are joining online platforms and they are doing so on the slower 2G connections. It is important that we understand how these people use Facebook on 2G networks so that we can create the best user experience for them”.
In a statement to Business Insider, Tom Alison, who is the engineering director at Facebook, claimed that this ‘2G Tuesdays’ program definitely tested his patience. Furthermore, “it felt like some parts of the service were broken”, he added.
It is this exact kind of experience or rather enlightenment that the Facebook management wants those responsible for developing its products to gain.