With Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) boasting 955 million users globally, out of which mobile users count about 543 million, it was only a matter of time before its mobile apps became the subject of company introspection, with respect to their quality and user-friendliness.
According to this article in fiercemobilecontent.com Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has instructed its employees to carry Android-based smartphones, instead of iPhones, with a view of making them more appreciative of the failings and shortcomings of the Facebook Mobile App for Android-based phones.
Citing Business Insider, the article also mentions that this is not unknown in the IT industry, and is in fact known as “dogfooding” – derived from the phrase “eating your own dog food,” and a way for employees to assess the company product the way a consumer would. The aim is to get ideas for improving the user experience by using it yourself.
According to the article, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has also acknowledged the fact of this strategy in an e-mail to The Los Angeles Times, mentioning that this was standard practice as far as unreleased products are concerned, but is being brought to bear on mobile products specifically, because it involved testing on various platforms as distinct for testing a web product (which doesn’t differ with the type of computer being used by the consumer). The company would also occasionally rotate the testing focus from Android to iPhone or vice versa.
The company’s recent revamp of its Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOs 5.0 social app resulted in the speed doubling, faster scrolling and instant notifications, achieved by making the app a fully native iOS app instead of the embedded HTML5 route. A comparatively puny update on the Android platform was no match for the breadth and scale of the iOS revamp, but was “a step forward” in the words of Mark Zuckerberg.
The company’s moves are in sync with its stated intentions to increase the depth of experience of the social network for its mobile users, and to do so with deeper system integration and amidst an ecosystem that enables apps to be built on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB). These steps, in the end result, would likely result in better monetization of its rapidly increasing mobile user base.