Facebook will make its employees feel what it’s like to have a 2G connection

28 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Facebook slows the internet for staffers.

Simulation is a great way to design a product for users who don’t share the same context as you do. As Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is scheduled to have a townhall in New Delhi, Facebook is taking a step closer towards understanding how consumers in India experience the social network. The idea is to simulate the experience of Facebook users in regions with sluggish networks – a major area of growth for Facebook – who might use the site differently. Through the initiative—dubbed “2G Tuesdays”—the company hopes its staff will better understand what its like to access the platform via a 2G connection, a reality for many of its users living in the developing world.

Through other initiatives, like Internet.Org, Facebook Lite—a mobile app designed for 2G connections—and the company’s recent announcement that it will beam internet by satellite in Africa starting next year, it is clear that Facebook is betting on the “next billion” internet users—many of which still use 2G technology. We need to understand how people use Facebook in different Internet connections in all parts of the world so we can build the best experience for them,” said a Facebook spokeswoman. By optimizing the platform for slower connections and helping to improve access to the internet, Facebook wants to continue grow its user base rapidly in countries like India and Nigeria with the view to generating more revenue in the long term.

In the second quarter of this year, 96.4% of Facebook’s revenue (pdf, pg. 8) came from advertising, while 76%, or $2.6 billion, of that ad revenue was derived from mobile advertising. Figures from the company’s second quarter earnings for 2015 show how regions like Africa and South America (accounted for in the “rest of the world” category) generate 10 times less in average revenue per user (ARPU), than the two North American countries, US and Canada.

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