back to article Facebook tries to stop its staff using iPhones in 'dogfood' push

Facebook's campaign against the Apple iPhone has moved up a notch: staff are urged to grab an Android gadget and bug test the social network's mobile app as more punters plump for Google's operating system. Facebook employees are now told to eat their own "droidfood" - a reference to the software development approach of using …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    iPhone?

    Hello 00's, got some more of your lot trying to sneak into the teens with their outdated and antiquated tech.

    1. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
      Mushroom

      All I know is...

      The primary motivation I've always had for rooting every Android phone I've ever gotten was to get FACEBOOK & TWITTER off the thing ASAP. Getting the rest of the bloatware crap off is just a side benefit.

  2. NoneSuch
    FAIL

    As much as I dislike iPhones, the employees should have a choice in the phone they want. Unless Facebook is picking up the tab for the handset and mobile plan in its entirety, which is doubtful.

    Forcing a choice will bite them in the butt.

    1. jason 7
      WTF?

      So er..you would ragequit your job if they wouldn't let you use the phone of your choice?

      What is it with this incredible false sense of self-entitlement most folks seem to think they have nowadays?

      1. Charlie's Butt
        Thumb Down

        Who said anything about rage quitting? Also, what does a personal choice such as a mobile phone have to do with self-entitlement?

        Would you like your employer to dictate what car you drive, or the brand of cereal to eat in the morning?

        Just because you gave up on being individual, it doesn't mean that everyone else has to.

        1. Psyx
          Stop

          "Would you like your employer to dictate what car you drive"

          That's pretty much what company cars do.

          Granted, they're paid for, but it's not often that you get a choice about what to have!

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Would you like your employer to dictate what car you drive"

          Many do: No SUVs, no two-doors, no tinted windows, no petrol engines...

          1. Shades

            "Many do: No SUVs, no two-doors, no tinted windows, no petrol engines..."

            Some don't. My cousin had a 2 litre Renault Clio Sport Cup (with everything on it) as a company car because it was actually cheaper than what the company usually offers... and a LOT more fun for him.

        3. jason 7

          Individual...as in owning an iPhone like everyone else?

          Me? I don't have a Windows/iOS or Android phone. Pre2, now that's individual.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Yes, but us webOS users (I have both a Pre2 as backup, and a Pre 3) are watching the browser slowly fade into irrelevance, which is annoying, and Open webOS won't be retrofitted. At some point the annoyance of this will exceed the pleasures of having an easy to use, efficient piece of equipment - but by then hopefully RIM will have got out its BB 10 phones.

            By then, I hope that the EU Data Protection people will be stomping all over Facebook. With big, heavy boots.

        4. wayne 8

          they do dictate the car you drive

          The automakers in Detroit give preferential parking to their own marques. Competing vehicles have to use way out lots. Even for visitors and contractors.

          You work for a company trying to roll out a mobile interface, it would be beneficial to the company's bottom line and employee bonus plans to maximise the end user experience. Customer first. Otherwise your business model is faulty.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: they do dictate the car you drive

            Been there, had to hire an Oldsmobile to visit the plant. It just makes you go away thinking "Would I buy a car from a company as childish and immature as this?"

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: they do dictate the car you drive

              "It just makes you go away thinking "Would I buy a car from a company as childish and immature as this?""

              On the other hand, if they -didn't- have that policy, the internet would be flooded with pictures of Hyundais parked outside Chevy offices, with 'FAIL' written on them in Impact. They're in kind of a no-win situation.

      2. Richard Cartledge
        Facepalm

        So if they told you to take off your Hublot Big Bang and wear a Patek Calatrava you would think that's OK?

        Purlease.

      3. Dana W
        Trollface

        People thinking they have the nerve to choose their own phone with their own money! The nerve of them!

    2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

        Re: Employees have a duty to be competent

        At your own cost Eadon?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Employees have a duty to be competent

          You seriously think Facebook don't buy employees who test mobile solutions a mobile phone. Really. You think that. Wow.

      2. dssf

        Re: Employees have a duty to be competent

        This could, you know, be a way for fb to show some metrics to investors, "Ooh, look...88% of our employees use the fb-based android phones, err, umm, android-based facebook phones. That translates into love and trust in the fb offerings..."

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The problem is they are buying the phones

      As much as Fandroids (as distinct from those who simply prefer Android) hate to hear it, the problem is precisely that Facebook were buying their employees the phone. They started out buying iPhones and found when Android took off, staff were already bought into the iOS ecosystem and were not switching to Android. With no cost constraint, iPhone was remaining the phone of choice for Facebook staff. That's not surprising, since it has the highest satisfaction ratings in the industry plus, as mentioned most of the staff had bought into the iOS ecosystem. Now it's "harming" their understanding of Android so they have a campaign to encourage more staff to get Android phones. Simple really, though you don't get the undistorted story from The Register who are applying their usual spin.

      1. JohnG Silver badge

        Re: The problem is they are buying the phones

        If they are buying the phones, I fail to see the problem. The relevant department simply contacts the employee with a date for their switch to a new mobile phone, in the same way as for desktops, notebooks, desks and any other piece of company equipment. All this has no bearing on any mobile phones that employees choose to buy for themselves.

      2. Craigness

        Cost constrained

        Coward @ 14:52

        The customer satisfaction reports rate the satisfaction of owners of Galaxy Ace alongside owners of Galaxy SIII and The Iphone 4S. In other words, they are useless. It doesn't say anything about Samsung or Android that Galaxy Ace is less satisfying than Galaxy SIII, and it doesn't mean anything for Ios or Apple that Android phones are "less satisfying" than An Iphone.

        I'm not cost constrained and I wouldn't choose an Iphone. I don't work for facebook though.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. Craigness

            Re: Cost constrained

            @AC Most people have no analytical ability, which leads them to conduct customer satisfaction surveys badly or to repeat the results as if they were true.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      As far as I'm aware, FB isn't forcing anyone to change their personal phones - or even their work phones. From what I've read elsewhere it looks as if they're just encouraging use of Android stuff.

      Your mistake was taking a Reg headline as being more than tangentially-related to the truth... :P

      1. jason 7
        Facepalm

        Yes may I just add....

        ...I wasn't referring to personal phones.

        I was referring to whatever kit the company issues as standard.

        You take what you are given and get on with it.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Facebook should be platform independent

    If it favours only android then we risk getting into the same mess that we are in with PC's and Windows where everything else (apart from OSX) has less than 1% of the market.

    This would give them the widest reach of customers.

    Unless the new paymasters at Facebook are demanding even more advertising popups.

    Not that it matters to me, I don't use Faceblotch or Twatter.

    Soon it will be cool NOT to use these things (sorta like not having a plethora of Tattoos covering ones body)

    Ok, let the deluge of downvotes from Fandroids begin.

    1. EvilGav 1
      Mushroom

      Re: Facebook should be platform independent

      Have a down-vote.

      Not from a fan-droid, but from someone who thinks your wildly out of date opinion of tattoos needs an update.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Facebook should be platform independent

        I thought he was being sarcastic. I, for example, saw some really poor tattoos on one of the losing NFS quarterbacks, on tv, yesterday. I think it was SF. I don't remember who he was, but it looked like he lost a fight with an old QMS printer cartridge.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down

        Re: Facebook should be platform independent

        "...Not from a fan-droid, but from someone who thinks your wildly out of date opinion of tattoos needs an update..."

        Au contraire I think his opinion of tattoos is completely up to date. Once a badge of non-conformity and rebellion, they're now just another bland must-have fashion accessory. My favourites are those laughably refered to as "tribal". There's nothing quite like having a splodge of random curves and semi-circles with points on the end permanently inked onto your body to mark you out as having absolutely no individuality or imagination whatsoever.

        Oh wait.... you've got a "tribal" [snigger!], haven't you?

        1. EvilGav 1
          Stop

          Re: Facebook should be platform independent

          Nope, wouldn't be seen dead with a tribal tattoo - it doesn't mean anything to me. My Maori friends on the other hand, have a different view.

          Given my tattoos aren't in any way on show, they hardly count as a fashion accessory either.

          As far as i'm concerned tattoos are another form of art.

    2. Craigness

      Re: Facebook should be platform independent

      You seem to think that only a "fandroid" would downvote a comment along the lines of "serving other systems as well as Apple's is the opposite of platform independence". Did you read the article? It might have been helpful it the Reg had shown some of the posters put up in FB HQ. Instead of a picture of a Nazi telling the serfs to throw their iphones away or be terminated, they used a picture of an Android and information on how to upgrade from an iphone to Android. It's optional.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To be honest an employer should be glad their employees are using something that will get the job done and not have to mess around with a complex device. More time for working then.

    1. Steve Evans

      If they are supposed to be supporting a wide variety of devices, they need to be testing on the wide variety of devices.

      So far the Facebook Android app always seemed to lag behind the iOS version, even though Android is the dominant mobile phone OS.

      So they needed to do something to give their staff a kick up the behind to at least get them to more accurately reflect the real world user base.

      It's not just FB. How often do you see "The hit app now available on Android!!!", answer, a lot. How often do you see "The hit app now available on iPhone!!!", answer not much. For whatever reason, iOS always seems to get the initial attention. It will be interesting to see if this changes if the ipads dominance of the tablet market is threatened.

      Now if only the BBC could be given a similar kick... Their Android iplayer is horrendously low bitrate, and their news app doesn't even do basics like rotate, let alone take advantage of larger tablet real-estate.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        @ Steve

        Developers develop first for the platform that makes them more money. That is still iOS, even with Android selling far more devices now. iPhone/iPad owners are far more willing to pay money for an app, so a lot of 99 cent iOS apps are free w/ads Android apps. You can blame that on Apple owners being suckers, Android owners being cheap, or just an obvious outcome of the market - Apple devices exist only at the high end of the market, while Android devices cover the whole spectrum from low end to high end, and it seems reasonable that the lower price band of the market you buy in at, the less willing you probably are to pay extra for apps.

        Given how crappy the iOS Facebook app is, if this is the one getting all the loving attention of the developers, I hate to think how awful the Android version is. It is much better than it was earlier this year before leaving behind HTML5, but it is always slow (quite annoyingly so at times) randomly decides to skip hours worth of updates for no reason, has a few glaring bugs that surely FB employees must run into on a daily basis, and plenty of missing functionality compared to the web site.

        I always figured the reason the mobile app was such crap was because they wanted to make people use the web site where they make money from advertising. Now they've got some ads inline with the updates on the mobile app, so maybe they have decided to actually care about mobile now.

      2. Craigness

        BBC News

        Steve, you need to update your app! It does rotate, works well on tablets and even lets you play video now.

        1. Steve Evans

          Re: BBC News

          @DougS

          I wonder how many of the iOS devs actually do make money. If they weren't already a Mac owner, they would have had to purchase one before they could even start developing. Not a good start to the bottom line!

          The Android dev suite runs on anything, and costs nothing. Maybe this explains why a lot of apps are decidedly amateur.

          @Craigness

          Now that is odd. What version do you have? I've just checked on my vanilla Nexus 7, JB 4.2 and there is no update. BBC News Version 1.1 is what I have.

  5. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Devil

      Re: Android is THE platform to be compatible with

      A recent news report said about 50% of facebook users in Australia were fed up with the bullshit and being hooked into the crap....

      http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/digital-life-news/its-complicated-why-our-facebook-romance-is-fading-20121122-29r06.html

      Thirty-one per cent of Australian Facebook users feel that they spend too much time on the site. This number doubled to 61 per cent among those aged between 18 and 29.

      Forty-three per cent of users have thought about closing their accounts, with slightly more - 47 per cent - of those aged between 18 and 29 admitting to considering disliking Facebook for good.

      I have dealings with used car salesmen, and many of them are great people who are very savvy - very smart people. And most of them are not hopping around wetting themselves going, "Oh facebook - it's so wonderful."

      The fact is that when presented with the fine points in the paperwork, and the total fucking bullshit of a scam fest this ADVERTISING COMPANY and it's management actually is - most facebook users are just plain too fucking stupid - and of the "Me Too" spineless variety of consumers.

      As one fule lamented, "If I don't use facebook, then how do I get invited to parties?"

      As much as I despise facebook and the people that run it, and their total dishonesty and lack of ethics - they are doing the work, that the idiots are consuming... and paying for in the process....

      There seems to be a great parallel between making and earning, and using and paying.

      Or smart with money and stupid without.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Android is THE platform to be compatible with

        the total fucking bullshit of a scam fest

        I would like to compliment you on probably the shortest, yet very eloquent and correct description of Facebook ever. Bravo.

      2. Craigness

        oh4fs

        The fool is the one who sends party invites only on facebook, not the one who acknowledges the issues this raises.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Android is THE platform to be compatible with

      Sadly, it's not "Linux" enough to be truly open. Another harm from the "do no harm" setup.

      Let me tell you what you need to be compatible with: Open Standards. As a service provider it is fantastically stupid to isolate yourself from any platform, so keeping it open makes it easier to be cross compatible. That way it's less relevant what mobile platform you're dealing with, which also isolates you from the fanboi crap in either camp (which is, to me, the most irritating aspect of any discussion about any platform).

  6. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. Mattjimf
    Mushroom

    It's a slow slide to oblivion

    Maybe with this new push to actually use the POS apps they have been downdating*, they might just start to see why pretty much all the reviews on the facebook apps are slating them for not doing the basics you'd expect to be able to do, ie post a status and reply to other people's statuses.

    Facebook are on the slippy slope down to oblivion, and the sooner the next great social network comes along the better everyone will be, until that goes the same way.

    *downdating as updating implies that things have been fixed/actually work better than before the update.

  8. Alan Denman

    Supporting the real world.

    Did Apple's crippling of the web forced Facebook to stick to IOS apps?

    The success of Android open web model maybe caught Facebook cold footed.

    1. Steve Todd
      Stop

      Re: Supporting the real world.

      You seem to have an odd definition of "Crippling" there. You mean "wouldn't let Flash on the iPhone" I assume. Other than that mobile Safari is a pretty good, standards compliant browser (and probably better off for its lack of flash)

      1. Alan Denman

        Re: Supporting the real world.

        Facts about IOS's slow web browser got published by Blaze last year.

        Don't worry, the abuse they got probably means they won't dare real benchmark again.

        Whilst it is well known IOS web apps get stymied to funnel developers onto proprietary apps, publishing the the data is maybe a kamikaze act.

        1. Steve Todd
          Stop

          Re: Supporting the real world.

          iOS benchmarks pretty well against competing mobile browsers. There's no evidence that Apple have in any way slowed it down (with the exception of browser windows embedded in apps, that get a slower JavaScript engine), but rather that the limit is the ARM hardware that it runs on.

  9. JaitcH
    Happy

    "IDC numbers show how Android devices will comprehensively dominate the market by 2016"

    Fanboys, and that sad excuse for a tech (copy) 'writer' Charles Arthur, will be holding wakes, crying in their beer and tearing their hair out.

    Only three more years? Millions of people standing around with aged fondleslabs. Just how humiliating can that be?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Possibily for the first time "dogfood" reflects the experience well.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    get over yourselves.....

    I have said it before and I have said it again.... Facebook to me is a very good platform. And I dont really use it that much myself..... but I will tell you who does....

    The family members and friends that used to call me for tech support at family/mates rates (free) when they have broke the email client of have got the computer all virus ridden again through opening email attachments... They all use facebook now too keep in touch with each other, share photos(instead of trying to email a 50MB photo.BMP they scanned on the free flatbed scanner they got with the computer. ), remind each other of birthdays etc....

    It saves me so much telephone time talking them through fixing shit.....

    yes, for the more "enlightened" among us who look down at facebook as a cancer of the web, its not for you... well good... I am happy for you. Go troll elsewhere and leave the comments regarding the use of facebook to the people that use and embrace it. What do you care what the people at Facebook HQ tell the staff? it does not affect you. It has no baring on your life. leave it to the people that do care or it affects...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @AC 15:54

      so, you use Facebook, but not to read ads, friend companies, or buy anything ?

      What will you do when Facebook is gone ?

      1. Shanghai Tom
        FAIL

        What to use when facebook dies ?

        1. Use Wechat... no ads, no bloat , mini time line experience , photo albums, groups of friends, runs on a variety of phones. Free. Multiple Languages, runs on Andrioid Tablets ( mostly ) and also has a basic web interface for your PC

        2. For a much slimmer chat version, use WhatsApp, bascically one to one messaging, and you can set up groups, no albums, no ads, free for the first year, 1USD$ per year after that. Phones only, no tablets yet. No Web interface.

        3. Google Plus - spent a month trying to understand how to use it and now never touch it, deactivated on my phone.

        My family never emails me anymore and I live some 5,000 miles away , I am sure they consider that because I don't use FB I must be mentally or socially deficient in some way even though from FB Messaging they CAN email me directly, just put in my email address !.

        When I pointed out that WhatsApp is very much like sms / short emails and is free data transmission if you have a wifi nearby, then it suddenly got popular with some of them.

        I tried FB on my mobile, wtf ! massive blocks of space taken up by "pages you might like" and also shoving in my face "friends you might know" , FB on the mobile deactivated.

        In fact it looks almost exactly like the m.facebook.com when accessed through a phone browser that I don't know why they have an App when a browser shortcut is just as good.

        1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

          Re: What to use when facebook dies ?

          I love the mobile FB app - it shows just how well my ad blocker works..

  12. Gordon Pryra

    Whys everyone talking about standards?

    W3C crys a little bit every time ANY mobile from ANY manufacture is sold.

    Standards? pfft

  13. Big_Ted

    Ummmm

    "Charts using IDC numbers show how Android devices will comprehensively dominate the market by 2016"

    Don't they already dominate it in the phone area and even if you add in tablets then Android sale many more than Apple etc.....

    Anyone who has tried the Facebook app on android and idevice knows the idevice one is much better and just shows how Facebook have ignored android up to now......

    Buy an Android for each employee who works on coding etc for business use and ban others from work for a month and you will see a new and better app on android, otherwise they just won't know how bad it is and will suffer from people using other apps instead and lose out on the ad money etc.

    1. Mattjimf
      Facepalm

      Re: Ummmm

      Have you installed the newest version of Facebook for iOS?

      I was gobsmacked with how poor the last update was, I haven't dared and I'm worried that it's going to go down the same route as the Android one (again refusing to update it).

      When you have a timeline that doesn't show the stories in the right order when you select Most Recent there is something fundamentally wrong with the coding (never mind only showing 4-5 posts).

      I've never managed to successfully post an update, check-in or upload a photo successfully on Android despite having stock Jelly Bean on a Nexus S

      I use Facebook to keep in contact with people, but as I previously stated, the way things are going, people will start looking for something else when every second post is a sponsored ad (that may be the case already, adblocker stops them on everything bar the fondleslab).

  14. Daniel Palmer

    The facebook SDK..

    The Android version was a massive pile of shit... They've released a beta of the new improved version which makes it clear that the old thing was junk by replacing all of it... I don't use facebook but people want apps with facebook support and with the old SDK it was a massive ball ache. Hopefully all of this is a sign that they are actually going to make it work and keep it up to date this time.

  15. Grant Mitchell

    Don't get it

    Won't not interfering with staff choice mean that over time they'll match the rest of the populations trends? If in a few years no-one will be using iOS, surely no-one in their staff will be using it then?

    Letting people "byod" will surely give them the best insight to supporting their users?

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Don't get it

      Nope, it won't.

      Tech company employees are not the kinds of people that Facebook is really aimed at.

      After all, how many commentards actually like Facebook?

      It appears to me that the majority either tolerate it or actively hate it, and commentards are mostly employees of tech companies - that's the nature of the self-selection here.

  16. dssf

    Next up...

    FB wil add crowd funding platform tech to every subscriber's profile, encouraging innovation, entrepreneurial spirit, and raking in 15% of funded projects... Effectively pulling a quasi apple... In advance fb will buy a credit card transaction processor, and keep for itself a 3.8% transaction cut from the funder/donor AND funded parties, potentially raking more than working with jobs related sites...

  17. mark l 2 Silver badge

    "The social network's worker bees are expected to be beta testers too"

    I thought facebook just let the entire Android community be the beta testers for the facebook app as i don't think anyone at facebook actually tested it before its uploaded to google play as it always shockingly bad.

  18. Dana W
    Thumb Down

    Can you blame them?

    I bought my first Android device, and out of the box I liked it so much I considered one of their phones. ONE OS update, from 4.1 to 4.2 crippled my super slick Nexus 7 to a device that jerks and freezes playing Mahjong. Seriously? this much CPU and its choking on junk games?

    I'm expecting a 64 gig iPad mini under the tree this Christmas. I'll hang onto the Nexus and see if it matures into something more usable in the next upgrade.

    Cue Fandroid attack.

    1. Piro

      Re: Can you blame them?

      If it hosed, it hosed it. I would recommend a factory reset, though.

      1. Dana W

        Re: Can you blame them?

        Ok, I'll try it. It can't hurt.

    2. Tom 35 Silver badge

      Re: Can you blame them?

      I had a couple apps on my Nexus 7 stop working with the 4.2 upgrade. Took 2-3 days for them to release upgrades to make them 4.2 compatible. Since then other apps have been upgraded to add support for the new 4.2 features. My Nexus 7 now works better then it did before the upgrade.

      You may have a bad app or something but the Nexus 7 works fine with 4.2.

    3. Random Coolzip

      Re: Can you blame them?

      Funny, that's exactly why I ditched my iPhone. Was great out of the box, then did a minor release update and noticed it was a bit slower, then the update to the next major release pretty much crippled it. Finally got to the point where it was quicker to scoop the GPS off the floor of the car, plug it in and let it figure out where I was than to use the phone. Shame, really, as I liked the phone but I wasn't going to be forced into a mandatory biannual upgrade cycle.

      1. Dana W

        Re: Can you blame them?

        That is old hardware. I"m not talking about a two year old phone. An update should not trash a CURRENT device. "My phones are replaced every two years, I'm not seeing any problems."

  19. Eddie Edwards

    "Charts using IDC numbers show how Android devices will comprehensively dominate the market by 2016"

    In fact, the chart in that TechCrunch article shows Android comprehensively dominating the market in 2012. By 2016 there will apparently be 2x as many phones, but the ratio between Android and iOS stays about constant.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    People still use Facebook?

    Wow

  21. Gil Grissum
    Pint

    I don't think so

    The only way an employer gets to choose my mobile phone, is if they are issuing it to me and paying for the service. My personal phone is my personal business and I will use the platform that I bloody well please. They want employees to beta test a platform of their choice, then Zuckerberg can spend some of his billions and buy them the phones of his choice.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: I don't think so

      Yes, if your employer is buying the phone and paying the contract, you get what you're given.

      Although, if they said "We'll pay 50% of your contract costs if you get phone X as your personal phone", that might be tempting.

      Finally, "We recommend you get phone X, or your job is at risk" (outright or implied) may be unethical, and even illegal in the EU, but it's permitted in much of the USA.

      Personally, I'm guessing they are doing the first one.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hire testers

    I realise android is low grade and more testing needs to be done. So get real testers rather than expecting employees to suffer with the malware OS.

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