Facebook is unarguably the biggest social media network on the internet but Android users who have Facebook app installed on their device — a majority of you — need to reassess keeping the official app on their smartphone.
Facebook app increases in size all the time and consumes increased storage over a period of time. Not only that, the app hogs on your data pack as it runs constantly in the background — draining a lot of battery as well as affecting the phone’s overall performance.
Lower-end phones running the software feel the brunt of the app even more as their hardware isn’t good enough to run the heavy Facebook app.
Facebook uses a lot of resources to run — keeps auto-downloading videos, images on your timeline and scans for notifications in real-time and much more, which affects the device’s performance and puts pressure on other apps too.
Battery and Data Drain
A report by The Guardian also corroborates our claims that Facebook app drains your battery and ‘uninstalling the Facebook app saves up to 20% of Android battery life’.
Not only does the Facebook app puts immense pressure on the battery of the device but also the internet plan.
According to Antivirus maker AVG, Facebook app emerges on top among the apps eating up into your internet data plan on your device.
Facebook app hogs on your phone’s internal memory more than any other app that you might be using. Personally, I don’t use Facebook actively so don’t need the app as much.
But just for testing sake, I installed the app on my device. Play Store details of the app specified that a total of 71MB data will be downloaded for the app but when the app was installed the file size was close to 160MB and I haven’t yet logged into my Facebook account using the app.
Oh wait, I did log in and the app’s storage upped to 190MB and mind you, I had just logged in and didn’t even check a single notification on the social media network.
The app’s total storage keeps expanding with usage and if you’re using an older Android device with low internal storage, you’re better off without the app.
Facebook is Invading Your Privacy
Every app requires a certain degree of permissions from the user to access either your contacts (in the case of apps like Truecaller), images (in the case of photo-sharing apps like Instagram) and the likes.
Similarly, Facebook also requires certain permissions from your device in order to be able to function to its optimum level but these permissions account for almost all of the permissions that any of the apps need.
To give you a brief idea, you allow the Facebook apps to access:
Your contacts, call logs, text messages. This essentially means that the company can see who all are in your contacts, call them, message them and also see who you’ve been in contact with. The app can also make modifications in your device’s calendar.
Your location, which enables them to know where you are.
Your camera, which means the app has permission to click images, record videos and audio via the microphone too.
Your internal storage, which means they can see files on your phone as well as delete them.
The app can access your WiFi, change the wallpaper, network connectivity and much more.
Please note that Facebook has offered an explanation to justify its app seeking almost full control of our device, but I hope you remember how Facebook is known for selling user data and also making user profiles to serve relevant ads on their platform.
Be rest assured that the explanation is truthful but sugar coated to hide the fact that Facebook has these permissions even when their specified justification for that permission isn’t being implemented by the app.
Per se, the first explanation is for ‘Read your text messages (SMS or MMS)’. Facebook has access to your text messages even after it has verified your phone number. Be very careful how much access you’re giving to these apps.
Facebook is not only hogging up on storage, draining the battery, eating up on your internet pack and guilty of invading your privacy, it is also affecting the overall performance of your device and slowing it down.
This Redditor recorded the performance of his device with and without the Facebook and Messenger app installed on it. He found that with both of Facebook’s apps uninstalled, his phone’s performance was boosted as the other apps started launching 15% quicker than when Facebook was being run on the device.
Alternatives: Use Facebook Lite or Access via Chrome
If you’re a regular user of the social media network and are facing issues with the Facebook app due to the aforementioned reasons or something else then it’s recommended to either use the Facebook Lite app — which feels slightly out-dated due to the minimal interface and a few features missing — or access Facebook via Chrome or any other browser of your choice.
Facebook Lite is meant to work on slow and spotty network connections and so it does away with features like Instant Articles and more but keeps you connected nonetheless via all the necessary features.
Accessing Facebook on a chrome browser is simple, doesn’t need any downloads and you can even get notifications while logged on via Chrome.
While you won’t feel the app hampering your device’s performance if it’s in mint condition, but wait a few more months and you’ll feel your device lagging a bit with the Facebook app on it.
Having the Facebook app installed on your device isn’t really worth the trouble. If it was some other app than Facebook which invaded your privacy, consumes as much storage, data and hampers the device’s overall performance, you would have uninstalled it without a second thought. Facebook should be no exception.