Facebook’s chief product officer, Chris Cox, is forcing some of his team into using Android phones so that they can have the same experience as hundreds of millions of users, Wired reports.
“I am mandating a switch of a whole bunch of my team over to Android, just because people, when left up to their own devices, will often prefer an iPhone,” Cox said.
Android is now used by 1 in 5 people globally, so creating a good Facebook experience is essential. However, if no Facebook employees use the Android verison of the Facebook app regularly, they cannot flag bugs and annoyances. Cox argues that engineers will be “living in the same experience that most Facebook users experience today.”
The move comes as part of a larger focus by Facebook on emerging markets that includes “2G Tuesdays,” forcing employees into using a slow Internet connection, like much of the developing world. Facebook is used by more than 1.5 billion people, but that still leaves 4.5 billion potential users that the social network wants to reach.
It’s unclear if Facebook will be providing the Android phones for those who are switching or the kind of phones they will receive. There are reportedly more than 18,700 distinct Android devices available.