Asking someone if they prefer Apple or Android is kind of like asking someone if they’re a cat or dog person. You’re either one or the other, and you usually feel pretty strongly about it.
So what if your employer forced you to trade in your beloved pet dog for a cat (I’m so sorry). Or, maybe a little less devastating, your iPhone for an Android?
That’s what Facebook is doing (the phones, not the pets). But the switch has nothing to do with a new-found love for Android or any kind of vendetta against Apple.
Facebook’s chief product officer, Chris Cox, announced during a press conference last week that the company is making the switch to get a better understanding of how millions of users in emerging markets use their service every day.
Facebook employees may not be thrilled, but to be fair, Android is the most popular mobile operating system in the world. 83 percent of the world’s smartphones run on Android operating systems, compared to only 14 percent on iOS, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC). And if you asked yourself, where did the missing 3 percent go, like I did, it’s Windows, Blackberry and “Others.” #RIPblackberry.
Most of these numbers account for the emerging third-world countries, where Facebook is hoping to expand its market.
By mandating the switch, Facebook is giving its employees a taste of what living in a third world country feels like, from a technological aspect, at least. And since most Facebook employees own iPhones, according to Cox, using Androids will allow them to experience the same bugs or issues that these users deal with every day, allowing for quicker catches and fixes. (Is Facebook admitting their Android app is subpar?)
This isn’t the only move Facebook has made to get up to speed in emerging markets. Last month, the company launched ‘2G Tuesdays’ where workers experience an hour of a simulated 2G connection, similar to one that users in developing countries will be using to access Facebook.
If you ask me, both initiatives are just further evidence that Facebook is planning to take over the world.