23
Aug
facebook

I'd be lying if I said this story didn't just make my day. According to Business Insider, Facebook employees are being strongly urged and in some cases required to use Android phones instead of their smartphone platform of choice. Why? Because the Facebook for Android app sucks. Of course, this doesn't come as a surprise to anyone who's ever used it. Despite a string of tiny, incremental, minor updates—or worse updates that add features nobody wants only to remove them almost immediately—the app has remained largely the same for the last six months at least.

slowbook1 slowbook2 slowbook3pointoh

If you had to stare at this everyday, wouldn't you wish you could fix it? Oh, right...

Part of the problem is that the Facebook app for Android is mostly rendered in HTML5. This has the advantages of making it easier to rollout updates to users on a wide variety of devices. The downside is, of course, it is impossibly slow. It's also buggy and frequently has problems syncing information. To say nothing of the lack of attention that's been paid to its interface since the sidebar was initially added. Not that many folks are clamoring for Facebook to change its interface more, but improvements are sorely needed and they happen at a very slow pace if at all.

It's unclear just how long the company has been forcing its employees to use Android phones, nor how extensively this policy is being enacted. It is clear, however, that this is an attempt to make employees care more about the Android app, which indirectly implies that it's not anyone's job to care about it. This wouldn't be a new revelation to anyone, but it does reinforce the idea that most folks within the company don't place a high priority on mobile app users. Though, now, they're being made to with the worst punishment of all: using it.

Source: Business Insider

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • Ron Amadeo

    This is what I imagine hell is like.

    • sssgadget

      #firstworldproblem

      • Adam

        #IrritatingMeme

        • fixxmyhead

          #wtfdothesehashtagsmean

          some gay twitter thing?

          • douchecanoe

            Nope just a twitter thing.

        • Abhisshek Das

          #onlyforthefirstworldpeople rest of us just laughing :P

    • http://www.baronsofbullshit.com/ seriosbrad

      hahaha, yes

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

      For a hardcore Apple-orientated Facebook employee?

  • aatifsumar

    Used to use Friendcaster but off late that too has deteriorated. A lot of errors and permissions revoked. Now, I just stick to the mobile website.

    • http://pandu.poluan.info pepoluan

      Most likely, something got caught up in the cache. I never have any problems with Friendcaster since I totally wiped out my phone to install a custom ROM.

      • aatifsumar

        Interesting. Shall try clearing cache.

  • Akbar

    which makes me wonder what have they been using as their platform of choice...

    • http://twitter.com/Benji311 Ben Jeske

      BlackBerry

      • Akbar

        yuck

      • Markiños

        Well, i'm waiting for BB 10. It look really GREAT! :D

        • blahblahblah

          This is an android blog not a "I want to see BB10 blog".

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

            Isn't that what CrackBerry forums is for?

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

          As I like to say "If you want a device that runs Android apps, get an Android device. If you want to BBM your friends everyday use BlackBerry."

          Besides BB 10 to me is just RIM trying to be hip with an Android/iOS inspired OS based on QNX (another UNIX operating system) and with Dalvik for running BlackBerry approved Android apps. If it weren't for BBM and all the things I hear about it,I really wouldn't care about the platform.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

        That is a surprise, I thought iOS got most of the love that Facebook provides so Apple can go: "Facebook! There's an app for that."

  • Andi Springthorpe

    I gave up on the app (and Facebook altogether) after writing a rant which could have covered an entire bog roll only for it to disappear like a fart in the wind when I hit the button to post it.
    It was the cherry on the cake for me. The icing was 'Like in 3 seconds if...' posts and the sponge was that anyone I cared enough to speak to has my mobile number or email.
    Since quitting, my battery life has improved significantly and my data plan hasn't reached its cap.

    • http://twitter.com/AtchisonKay KayAtchison

      Dittoooo

  • http://twitter.com/BoB1673 BoB1673

    good lets hope this invokes a major update !

  • Drayon

    Also please give them an htc one device with the black bar of old apps enabled :)
    So the app not only might become better, but it also looks better.

  • http://www.facebook.com/wcthompson Will Thompson

    The app is worthless, always crashes when linking to anything not on its site, and frustratingly slow. I use Tweetdeck for tracking Facebook posts.

  • Bl4ckphenix

    People still use face book? They can't afford to pay their dev teams because of the stock prices falling?

    • http://twitter.com/simp1istic simp1istic

      Yeah, that's exactly whats NOT happening.

    • Ravengenocide

      Stocks do not work like that, so no worries, they got money for developers.

  • http://twitter.com/crushjz Cesare Puliatti

    Friendcaster is the way...

    • Jon Butler

      Unless your friends block 3rd party apps in their security settings. Which makes Friendcaster useless. :(

      • http://twitter.com/crushjz Cesare Puliatti

        Didn't know that! :O

  • adam

    This is awesome. :)

  • Jon Butler

    I too hate the official FB app, but we're stuck with it. Friendcaster was an awesome app, but being 3rd party it was governed by users' permissions regarding 3rd party apps. Most of my friends are fairly security-conscious and had as a result blocked 3rd party apps .... making my news feed a barren wasteland.

    • jammer

      You aren't stuck with it. Just uninstall.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

        And there is always the mobile browser of choice which you can use to render Facebook.

  • http://profiles.google.com/tonycerdais Tony Cerda

    This kind of makes me want to open a facebook account just to see how bad it is, but I would have no prior knowledge since I've never used it & nothing to compare it to.

  • Markiños

    Great news!!!
    "a taste of your own medicine"

    • markiños

      On the other hand, Google+ app iS awesome! Faster i ever see, and never crash. LEARN FB EMPLOYEES!

      • http://twitter.com/oOBlueOo Haunter

        I'm sure it doesn't hurt that the OS and social networking site are created by the same company.

        • Mark Klass

          Yes, but not by the same people. I think there's "Android", "Chrome", "G+", etc departments. I don't think they share resources.

  • Abhijeet Mishra

    Wait, if HTML5 is slow, why is it getting such a push and has a whole OS based on it (Firefox OS)? Or is it slower when it's not natively used?

    • Ravrahn

      It's slow because it adds more layers of complexity. There's already Java and xml, and then you need to render and display html5 on top of that.

      • Abhijeet Mishra

        Ah, got it. Thanks for clarifying. I thought that was the case but wasn't sure, hehe.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      If you want another example of HTML5 and a terrible user experience, look at Netflix. I'm pretty sure all their apps use HTML5, and UI-wise they are horrible.

      http://techblog.netflix.com/2010/12/why-we-choose-html5-for-user.html

  • Tomi Golob

    Facebook shmacebook... bitch,please - G+ !! But seriously though,i hope they make a decent freakin update

  • Marcellus

    Facebook app is really sucks. It does not work properly on my tablet. The images appear in half, I do not see my profile in timeline and there are missing features that exist on my smartphone.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

      Agreed, it sucks on my Galaxy S II as well. Maybe we'll see some real improvements with this scheme though.

  • John D

    The slowness of their mobile offerings is why I continue to simply use a bookmark to the full desktop site, and chuckle to myself whenever they offer the chance to 'browse faster' on their app... On the plus side for facebook, at least there are plenty of ads for me to ignore.

  • scuttlefield

    This is the example that the somewhat disgusting term "dog-fooding" was truly meant for. This better leave a bad taste in their mouths.

  • http://profiles.google.com/pbooker117 Phillip Booker
  • Kurt Wurmser

    Isn't this what they call "eating your own dogfood"? Here's hoping they find that Alpo as tasty as the rest of us do.

  • Justin Bale

    I know I'll probably get some hate, but lately I've been using the standard facebook app, and it hasn't been to bad. But if you are going to compare it to say, G+ app, then you can't.
    But so far I am getting push notifications with the normal facebook app and messages come through.

  • Rudy Belova

    With the recent update earlier, mine won't stop force closing. Lovely..

  • http://www.facebook.com/mensly Michael Ensly

    Should be making them use an Android Tablet. We need an interface like what iPad has.

  • Beng

    Make them use it on android tablet

  • azl

    They should try the blackberry app

  • duplissi

    so how about getting a tablet interface worth something?

  • vikiii

    This is false. Google's gmail app is also an html5 app. It does not however share the laggy behaviour with facebook app. HTML5 apps can be very fast and easy to update, when done well.

    • http://www.flexlabs.org/ Artiom

      WTF are you on about? GMail for Android is NOT an HTML5 app.
      If you ever looked at it's source and structure, you would know that most of the app, except for the actual e-mail text which is rendering html, is regular Android activities and fragments, with ListAdapters used for lists of e-mails and labels, with ActionBars and PreferenceFragments and tons of other Android interface elements.

      Jeez

    • http://www.facebook.com/petetandon Prem Tandon

      You are so wrong. Downvote for you.

  • http://twitter.com/Darkmyth_pt Darkmyth PT

    Normally i´m the first to say that things suck, but i must say im quite happy with the facebook app, although i would prefer they would just steal the code for g+ and paint it blue with an "F" on it

  • errkal

    They should move to the design they use on WP7 that app has a great look.

  • http://allanjh.tumblr.com/ Allan H.

    I don't mind the interface layout (in fact, the similarities to the desktop site are good IMO) but the horrendous speed and the glitchy-as-hell photo upload is unacceptable. Seriously, has anyone here ever gotten a photo to properly post to the news feed?

    • Znuff

      I did. Twice!!!

      u jelly?

  • crankerchick

    #BestScreenshotsEver! They sum up the craptastic Facebook for Android app better than any words, besides "loading," ever could.

  • cmdrtaco

    One of the worst apps ever written on Android. Pity that a company valued (in their own head) at $100B cant write one decent app

  • Zaeem Shahzad

    They'll steal all their ideas off Google+.

  • Chadlessness

    And while there at it, how about a version that is actually made for Tablets. FB sucks on Android, but it sucks and looks terrible on Android Tablets.

  • http://www.facebook.com/amishcrusader Shane Capuano

    I noticed it was 4:20 in some of those screenshots. Facebook was just reminding you to load, that's all.

  • http://twitter.com/AtchisonKay KayAtchison

    Glad my phones not by itself fb onandroid

  • http://twitter.com/AtchisonKay KayAtchison

    Not good whys this site jjumping??

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