Facebook’s ‘2G Tuesdays’ Slow Down Internet for Employees

28 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

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In its quest to capture nearly every Internet-connected person on the planet, Facebook is rolling out a new internal program designed to help its staff better understand how users in regions with slowers connections access its site. “People are coming online at a staggering rate in emerging markets and, in most cases, are doing so on mobile via 2G connections,” a Facebook spokesperson told Mashable. “But on the lower end of 2G networks, it can take about two minutes to download a webpage.

Since it’s headquartered in the epicenter of technology innovation, Facebook has decided to give its employees a taste of what users in parts of the world with less developed Internet infrastructure experience using the service. To do so, the company is instituting a new initiative, dubbed “2G Tuesdays.” Every Tuesday, when employees log into the Facebook FB -0.54% mobile app, they’ll be prompted to opt into using the social network at a 2G speed — instead of the 3G, 4G, or LTE speed most of us are used to — for the next hour. Dubbed ‘2G Tuesdays’, the program allows Facebook staff to slow their mobile internet speed down to 2G for an hour, as Business Insider first reported. It is entirely optional and doesn’t last the full day, but it will let staff who don’t get to travel much to gain a better understanding of the issues that users in far-flung countries face. Given that nearly one billion of Facebook’s monthly active users live outside of the U.S. and Europe, you can argue that this new initiative isn’t just smart… it’s essential.

Facebook teams regularly tests the service’s performance on web and mobile apps by taking trips to countries where network conditions aren’t as advanced, and make improvements on page load times, data efficiency, app size, and so on.

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