Given how much time smartphone users on the whole spend using Facebook, it’s not all that surprising that the app tends to consume its fair share of battery. The problem, however, is that Facebook’s mobile apps have a bad tendency of tearing through battery life much quicker than what one might reasonably construe as “fair.”
Speaking to this point, Reddit user pbrandes_eth last week decided to test the notion that running and even having Facebook installed on an Android device can have an adverse impact on performance.
Using his LG G4 as a guinea pig, pbrandes_eth found that Facebook’s apps are not only battery hogs, but that they can also affect the performance of other applications. Specifically, testing revealed that when Facebook and Facebook Messenger were uninstalled, other apps on the LG G4 launched as much as 15% faster. While the time differential at launch is just about a second, it does make one wonder just what exactly Facebook is doing underneath the hood.
Curious himself, Samuel Gibbs of The Guardian did some testing of his own and discovered that using a wrapper for Facebook Messenger as opposed to the app itself gave his Huawei Nexus 6P 20% more battery life every single day over a testing period of a week.
Despite the Facebook app not showing up as using a significant amount of power within Android’s built-in battery statistics, it was evidently consuming more power in the background than it needed to.
It turned out other Android services including Android system and AndroidOS 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.
So, uninstalling the Facebook app saves both battery and speeds up Android phones, it seems.
Obviously, Facebook provides a lot of utility and enjoyment for users, so it’s not as if most people will realistically wipe their devices clean of any Facebook presence. That said, if you have an Android device and are experiencing some performance issues, it might be an idea to access Facebook through a mobile web browser from time to time if you need a Facebook fix but want to keep your system running smoothly.