Redditors have done some experimenting and found that one of the biggest battery hogs among Android apps is the official Facebook app. We’ve all known for quite some time that the Facebook app (for both iOS and Android) has grown into a bloated beast over the years, but extensive testing has shown that there are still some serious battery life and performance consequences remaining with the app.
Redditor pbrandes_eth decided to perform a number of app launching tests with his LG G4, both with Facebook and Facebook Messenger installed, and with both uninstalled. His testing showed that when starting 15 apps in a row, his smartphone was 15 percent faster without the two Facebook applications installed. The reddit thread, which has grown to over 1,200 comments, shows similar gains from other redditors that have taken the “Ditch Facebook” challenge.
Inspired by the results on reddit, The Guardian reporter Samuel Gibbs decided to do some testing of his own to see what affect the Facebook app was having on his battery life. Instead of using an LG G4, Gibbs relied on his Huawei Nexus 6P. And rather than remove both Facebook and Messenger, Gibbs only tossed the Facebook app into the trash can. He then proceeded to use the Facebook mobile website in concert with the Metal app as “wrapper” for m.facebook.com.
Over the course of a week’s testing, the combination of the Facebook mobile site and Metal allowed Gibbs to witness a 20 percent improvement in battery life (his gains would have likely been even higher had he ditched Facebook Messenger). He also noted that some users might not even realize that Facebook is tearing through their battery on a continual basis, as the battery statistics for the app in the Settings menu is not at all accurate:
It turned out other Android services including Android system and Android OS showed reduced battery consumption when the Facebook app was uninstalled. Those services act as a buffer for many apps to the outside world when running in the background. So while Facebook didn’t look like it was using that much power, it was actually just being displayed elsewhere in Android’s statistics.
If you’re a heavy Facebook user, the mobile app can be seen as a welcome addition to your daily “work flow” to help keep tabs on all of your friends, acquaintances, and family members. But as is becoming increasingly more apparent as Facebook adds more features to its already bloated app, the downside is that we all pay in the form of reduced battery life.