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Facebook Explains the Future of Its Android App is Through Efficiency and Performance

In a post on their engineering blog today, Facebook said that it was about two years ago when they became a “mobile-first” company. The struggle with that outlook is the definition of mobile is not the same all around the world. To make sure that its application will give the same Facebook experience to people around the world, Facebook traveled to Africa to study what “mobile” is in emerging markets to help define its strategy going forward. 

Facebook’s engineers made this trip because when you stack the basic “mobile” devices that we see here in North America, Europe or Asia. They found that in emerging markets, data is very hard to come by to start with and buying more when you need it is even more expensive. Facebook came back from this trip with a list of ideas and ways that it wants to make sure to implement to ensure that its app will function well.

The entire post is a very good read about Facebook’s thought process and intentions for its application going forward. Facebook said that from now on it would be testing any updates in low-signal areas to see how the app responded among other factors. All-in-all Facebook intends to make their application better in all situations going forward; that’s something we can always get behind.

We have included the main bullet points for this new strategy, but feel free to hit the link below to read the whole post.

  • In terms of performance, Facebook wanted to improve slow start times on old devices. The changes they were able to make reduced start times by more than 50 percent in the six months following the trip to Africa.
  • Realizing that data is extremely expensive in emerging markets and purchasing more data is often a laborious process, they decided there needed to be a concerted effort to reduce data consumption within the FB app (with photos specifically taking up a sizable amount of data to download). The work on data efficiency resulted in a 50 percent reduction in data use compared with earlier last year.
  • They also invested heavily in improving efficiency/reliability of the networking stack – realized it was important to implement more modern networking concepts in emerging markets because stacks struggled to perform in regions with intermittent networks. In combination with better data usage for images, reports of slow or failed image loads dropped by almost 90 percent over the past year.
  • With most popular mobile devices in Africa having little disk space available (a significant barrier to installing app upgrades), people in developing countries often use older versions of the app that don’t have up-to-date features or take advantage of other improvements. The team focused on improving app size efficiency, and in the end, app size has been reduced by 65 percent compared with the beginning of the year.
Via: Facebook
  • Isn’t it the case that when you set your Facebook Wall to Recent Posts on your browser, it automatically does so on the Android App? I’ve got it installed on my Mazda 3 and I think I’m seeing newest posts rather than top stories.

  • LionStone

    No problem FB, disabled your app off my mobile loong ago…

  • who determines my friends top stories. I
    have missed events because of this crappy algorithm. I want MY feed in the order they are posted, and none missing. period.

  • start by getting rid of the number of permissions the app uses, I revoke all permissions an it still works for the most part. I don’t want an external app reading my texts or contact list for starters.

  • Higher_Ground

    I don’t really think there’s anything they can do to make me put a facebook app on my phone short of completely blocking all mobile browser access to it.

  • davenportbeatriz

    buddy’s sister-in-law makes $87 every hour on the laptop . She has been fired
    from work for ten months but last month her paycheck was $17106 just working
    on the laptop for a few hours. read

    ☭☭☭ ☭�☭☭ ☭☭☭ ☭�☭☭ ☭☭☭


  • Jeremy Gross

    this version is so much worse than the prior design

  • mgamerz

    You know what would be efficient? If scrolling down wouldn’t just close to the homescreen on my feed. That’d be nice.

  • Chippah

    I tapped out when the annoying old out of touch power trip hungry old people showed up.

  • Kevin B

    How about not needing to listen to me whenever they feel like it?

  • Justin-Alexander

    About time, Facebook somehow manages to be the largest app on my phone, beat out only by games

  • News about Facebook? ZERO FUCKS GIVEN.

  • shooter50

    Nice, nice, but the app sucks in the US, so lets worry about improving that first. I mean optimizing the app for Africa is a nice gesture and all but really??? AFRICA. come on Zuck. Where are the mobile dollars coming from TODAY??? So fix that piece of crap app so we don’t all have to go through Chrome. And while your at it, I could give a flying F%&$ what you think is a top story. I always want to see recent stories in my feed. If I set it to recent, I expect it to stay on recent, not revert to your crappy choice of top stories. Africa, wtf are you thinking?

  • Droid Ronin
    • shooter50

      quadruple thumbs up!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Reginald Spence II


  • Damn, look at all those pixels. Must be a MotoX.

    • Cesar

      Obvious bait is obvious.

    • panicswhenubered

      Nice try, Samsung.

      • Bezel is too small.

        • Blue Sun

          LG G3 maybe?

    • Raven65

      Nope! The Moto X’s bezel isn’t that wide on the sides.

    • zmr333

      It kind of looks like a Nexus 4. I could be wrong.

    • Chad

      The rounded edge reminds me of my Bionic

  • Grayson

    How about you work on UI performance Facebook. A multi billion dollar tech company should be able to write an Android app that doesn’t stutter around on high end devices. I would hate to see how laggy scrolling is on the low end, outdated Android phones they use in poor parts of Africa.

    • asten77

      As a frequent past critic of the facebook app, I definitely noticed a massive performance shift some months ago – it finally got to be speedy. I have a >2 year old phone and I have no lag or stutter whatsoever. I can’t imagine how a newer phone would struggle with it… I’d guess something else is at play.

  • RobJBR

    I don’t have Facebook installed anymore because every time you open the app it checks your location. Talk about no privacy.

    • antinorm

      That’s what XPrivacy is for. Facebook can ask for my location all it wants, but my phone is going to tell it that I’m in Pyongyang.

  • Menger40

    I’m still just accessing facebook through Chrome. No annoying extra wake time, no unexplained GPS time, and everything works quickly.

    Writing private messages is a bit of bear, but I try to keep it short on Facebook anyway.

    • umataro42

      Same. The only thing that I have trouble with is uploading pictures using mobile Facebook on Chrome. But for that I just use Firefox, which is my default desktop version browser.

  • Tony Byatt

    Facebook…I use it for…

    Let me get back to you on that…

  • Anthony Tyson

    We want to decrease data usage… Any ideas??? I KNOW HOW!!!! Auto playing videos!!!

    • Dave

      Settings: video auto play [off].
      I believe that’s what it does….

      • Anthony Tyson

        No way!!!! Still the fact that the feature exists is idiotic.

        • theineffablebob

          It’s a really smart feature. I used to rarely watch videos on Facebook, but now, I’ll check out the preview cause it loads so quickly and if it seems interesting, I’ll turn on sound.

      • sonicyoof

        Putting the first world… first.

    • michael arazan

      I saved data usage buy never installing it

  • You know what would be more efficient? NOT MAKING IT 20 STEPS TO GET TO MY BLOODY RECENT FEED!!!!!

    • tu3218

      Still running the old version simply because of this annoyance.

    • Ryan Markwald

      ^ This. Why must it be this hard to set as a default.

      • bkosh84

        There is a way to make the News Feed default to Most Recent? How?

        • j

          Not in the app anymore. You can in web based (at least with social fixer)

          • Ray

            This option is in the app for me.

        • No, but the most recent feed does sitll exist. Go to the 5th item in top bar, the “menu”, effectively, and scroll down a little. In the “Feeds” section you should see Most Recent.

    • Bryan Mills

      Nobody cares about the recent feed.

      • PoisonApple31

        Need less dogs and more boobs.

        • panicswhenubered

          As a 30 year old with no kids: It needs less pics of peoples’ babies.

          • PoisonApple31

            Agreed. Filter out dogs and kids. That’d be great!

      • asten77

        Huh? Most everyone I know complains about this “Top Stories” garbage. I hate it when stories i read three weeks ago show up in my feed again and again.

      • That’s just you and the other voices in your own head.

    • KellyannMaxsteadtfa

      . if you, thought Luis `s c0mment is really cool… last thursday I bought a
      great volvo from earning $7424 this-past/4 weeks and even more than 10 grand
      lass-month . without a doubt it is the coolest work I have ever had . I
      started this nine months/ago and immediately began to bring in at least $80..
      per-hour . read


    • Mark Mann

      What app are you using… Tap hamburger menu – >tap most recent… Two steps… Granted it should be able to be set a default, but not hard by any means

      • No more hamburger menu in the beta. now it’s shoves away 4 swipes over and under “other feeds”

        • Mark Mann

          Oh… So you’re using a version of the app where they test new things before putting them in the main app and complaining because things aren’t right…

          • the beta I’m using is now public.

          • Mark Mann

            Ok… It’s still beta

          • Aaron

            Thank you for telling us it’s a beta version. The beta has been updated 100 times since I’ve been an alpha beta tester and it shows they don’t have any plans to change it anytime soon. So yes…we will complain. I don’t care if its in “beta”; you’re missing the point. If we don’t like something, we complain and hopefully they will implement a way to keep us all happy. Bring back the option for most recent…not bury it in a menu in which 90% of the general population will have no idea it is there.