Facebook staff encouraged to try Android
Facebook may be shifting a bit from Apple's iOS, and moving toward a balance with Google's Android platform.
The social networking giant is encouraging its employees to at least try out an Android device —a change from its early days when it gave employees iPhones, TechCrunch reported.
According to TechCrunch, several posters at Facebook's headquarters asked Facebookers to “switch today” and fix Android flaws with its bug reporting tool “Rage Shake.”
Photos of the posters at Facebook's Menlo Park campus indicates a graph of the International Data Corporation’s projection for shipments of Androids against iPhones.
"It shows Google’s OS getting bundled with twice as many devices as Apple’s by 2016. If Facebook can’t even out the ratio of iOS to Android-toting employees soon, it could end up neglecting the vast majority of its smartphone app users," TechCrunch said.
Also, the report said that while the default choice for what phone employees got used to be an iPhone, a Facebook spokesperson said they can now choose.
“We don’t encourage one device over another. We let employees choose,” it quoted the spokesperson as saying.
TechCrunch said this shows Facebook is making a shift "not just to mobile, but to a balanced focus across mobile through an informal program to nudge employees to Android."
It said Facebook gave its employees iPhones at first because the first iPhone was much better than the early Android devices.
But this was before the rise of Android as the top OS for smartphones.
Campaign taking hold
"If the social network wants to give Android users the best experience, it needs a fair portion of the company testing its Android apps and brainstorming what could be done next with the operating system’s flexibility," TechCrunch said.
TechCrunch said the campaign is starting to take hold, with Facebook claiming it "created more awareness that Android devices are available.”
Now, it said “there’s plenty of people here carrying around both devices, and not just engineers and not just mobile people.”
Meanwhile, TechCrunch said Facebook has built in a bug-reporting feature, aptly dubbed "Rage Shake," to report bugs by vigorously shaking the device.
"Employees just violently shake their phone and it automatically logs its current state and sends in details to Facebook’s mobile bug-squashers. The Google+ team apparently also has a 'Rage Shake' feature and even gave access to it to end users, though it’s unclear which company had if first," it said.
Facebook has about 4,000 employee-testers, it noted. — TJD, GMA News