Facebook Resorts To Propaganda To Make Android Users Out Of Their Employees

Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online

There´s a term for using a product or service which you´ve helped to create. It´s called “dogfooding,” and now Facebook is encouraging its employees to partake…with heavy emphasis on Android.

They´re calling it “Droidfooding,” and the posters they´ve reportedly hung throughout their Menlo Park campus have a decidedly war propaganda feel about them.

As it turns out, many Facebook employees have been so happy with their iPhones, they´ve been focusing more time perfecting Facebook´s iOS app. With fewer Android users on campus, many have begun to feel as if the Googley version of Facebook has been lacking. With fewer employees carrying Android handsets, there are fewer developers who truly care about making a great Android app.

Soon after Facebook released their new and speedier version of their iOS app, Owen Thomas wrote in the Business Insider that employees were being “nudged, cajoled, and even ordered” to switch from iPhone to Android.

Perhaps it was the recent attention and effort going into the iOS app which made some at Facebook realize how lacking their Android app has been?

In a way, Facebook could have created this iOS-centric monster roaming their campus.

“In the early days we gave employees iPhones primarily,” explains one spokesperson, speaking to TechCrunch.

With their employer handing out free iPhones, it´s likely many Facebookers simply stayed on Apple´s platform, never having any real reason to switch. Now, it appears as if Facebook is turning up the heat on those guilt-ridden iPhone-toting employees, resorting to propaganda posters. One poster simply asks, “Do you ℠droidfood?” then implores users to “switch today.”

Another poster uses a graph from the International Data Corporation (IDC) which claims Android handsets will out-ship iPhone by 2016. If these numbers hold true and the majority of Facebook employees still use iPhone, they could potentially be ignoring a large user base.

When asked, another Facebook representative seemingly denied pushing employees to switch to the Green Robot, saying: “We don´t encourage one device over another. We let employees choose.”

This led Josh Constine with TechCrunch to ask about the ratio of Android to iOS handsets. The spokesperson replied: “I don´t have a ratio but with the early focus on our iPhone app and the multi-year cycle of carrier contracts we do have more iPhones deployed.”

The Facebook spokesperson then says that this campaign has caused many employees to become aware as to how many Android options there are out there. They also claim that employees in all departments are carrying around Android and iOS devices.

While researching for this story, Constine also found a way that Facebook makes it easy for their employees to stay up-to-date on beta versions as well as file bug reports. The company reportedly pushes out the latest updates to the beta versions automatically, without the messy business of checking for updates in the respective app store. This ensures that every employee is able to file bug reports on the same version of software. To file these bugs, the employee only needs to give their phone (Android or otherwise) a good shake. The feature, called “Rage Shake,” automatically records the state of the software and the hardware and sends off a bug report to the developers.

Judging from the material hanging in the halls of 1 Hacker Way, Facebook wants their employees to begin violently shaking Android handsets rather than focus on further improvements for the iOS app.