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Facebook’s throttles employee internet speeds for ‘2G Tuesdays’

We’ve got a brilliant 4G infrastructure here in the UK, but network speeds aren’t so nippy in many parts of the world.

That’s why Facebook is launching a new initiative called ‘2G Tuesdays’, to help its developers understand internet usage in regions poorly served by internet providers.

Every Tuesday, Facebook is going to throttle the internet speeds for its employees for exactly one hour, as revealed by Business Insider.

The idea is that it’ll give developers a chance to see how people in third-world countries experience Facebook.

“I felt like, ‘Whoa!,” said Tom Alison, Facebook’s Engineer Director, describing the first time he tried Facebook on the 2G connection.

It definitely tested my patience – it felt like parts of the product were just broken,” he continued.

In first-world countries, it’s easy to forget just how cripplingly slow 2G connections were.

Facebook hopes to cater to its huge market of 2G-connected customers by optimising the News Feed for slow network speeds.

“You really experience your own Facebook in a much different way on 2G,” said Alison.

He continued: “It’s really a visceral feeling when you see your own content on this type of connection.”

It’s worth noting that the ‘2G Tuesdays’ initiative is entirely optional, so Facebook won’t be forcing lethargic download speeds upon its staff.

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Instead, employees will receive a notification on their News Feed every Tuesday morning asking whether they want to opt in for that given day.

“For that next hour, their experience on Facebook will be very much like the experience that millions of people around the world have on a 2G connection,” Alison explained.

The engineering director added: “They’re going to see the places that we need to improve our product, but they’re also going to see the places where we have made a lot of progress.”

Tell us what you think of Facebook’s ‘2G Tuesdays’ in the comments.

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