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AndroidPIT’s WTF App Of The Week: Facebook/Facebook For Android Updated. Still A Big Piece Of **it

Eric McBride
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AndroidPIT’s WTF App of the Week is normally about useless, ridiculously funny/annoying/meaningless apps that make our jaws drop. But today we have a WTF app like no other. An app straight from one of the biggest movers and shakers in the world that continues to spell out F.A.I.L more and more as the months go by. A WTF app that’s still so terrible for Android after years of existence that we can honestly only say “WTF??” after everytime it doesn't work properly. No my dear friends. This time it's not a farting or pooping app that makes funny noises. Our WTF app for this week is one you all know and use: Facebook. It’s actually so “WTF” that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is literally having to force his staff to use it.

I can get by using the Facebook app for Android, and yes, I do use it on a daily basis. But is it a good app? HELL TO THE NO. Constantly crashing, comments just don’t show up sometimes, some posts I write just decide to not how up, and it’s literally frustrated me so much a few times that I was THIS CLOSE to throwing my phone in front of a train and urinating on the remains (ok..maybe it didn't make me THAT mad, but it still pisses me off). But I’m not going to focus on my personal opinions about the app in this article, as everyone is entitled to their opinion. Instead, let’s focus on what Facebook employees think of their own app. You’re gonna love this....

In the minds of Facebook employees, the app is so bad and so underneath the IOS app, that Facebook is literally ORDERING employees to give up their iPhones for Android devices in the hopes that they take fixing it more seriously. The report comes from Business Insider, who managed to speak with ex Facebook employees who spilled the beans on what goes on behind closed doors. According to them, Facebook's own management team feels the only way to address and fix the ongoing issues with the Android app is by forcing employees to use it on a daily basis. Sounds harsh, but perhaps this “dogfooding” strategy could actually work.

The latest Facebook update for IOS was a really big one, and after playing around with it on an iPhone 4 here in the office, I can see how much smoother it runs. It has completely did away with HTML5, which was causing issues by reloading new data every time you opened it. It’s literally twice as fast/smooth as it was before. It also features instant photo updates, and added new options at the top of the News Feed to allow users to take a picture quickly (they were behind Android in terms of features up until now). Oh and Mark Zuckerberg...how come iPad users have an optimized app for the iPad, but Android tablet owners still have this ugly piece of **it?:

Would it really be that hard to optimize it for tablets as Google did here with Google+?:

While some of these features may have already existed on Android (I always felt the Android app, although crappy, was still superior to the IOS app, until now that is), my point is exactly what my colleague Pedro just stated: "The reason Facebook has a crappy Android app...is because they can". That’s what irritates people the most. Facebook is one of (if not THE) the most downloaded apps for Android and IOS. With a company so big, so rich, so powerful, and so bitchy about not making money with mobile, it’s a pretty big slap in the face to a big percentage of the almost 1 billion FB users that access FB from their mobile device every day.

There are definitely worse apps than FB for Android, and I’m not saying it’s unusable. But for the love of God...if you have to FORCE your own employees to use it by ordering them to ditch their iPhones for Android phones, what does that tell you about the app? This isn't about Android VS IOS Mark. It's about giving 1 billion users an app that doesn't suck. If you're smart enough to create/code Facebook, you're probably smart enough to improve the app...or am I seeing this wrong?

Facebook: The most needed crappy app from a company that easily has the resources to fix it...

...and AndroidPIT’s jaw dropping WTF App of the Week.

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Comments

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  • Patrick R. Aug 24, 2012 Link

    I gave up on the facebook app a loooong time ago. To be honest, facebook is facing a bit of a problem these days. They derive revenue from ads which are thankfully absent from the app. However, the trend is going the direction of handheld mobile devices for SNS access. Less PCs, Laptops and netbooks and more tablets and smartphones. So unless facebook reinvents its business model and finds new sources of revenue, i don't see them making a real push for an improved app. The iOS version seems better, i kinda smell apple's intervention there , maybe google should step in to make the android SNS experience smoother.

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    Christopher Silva Aug 24, 2012 Link

    Facebook must be so ashamed. the iOS version was just horrible. It seems they finally got it moving in the right direction. The Android version is a mess. I mean, come on, this is all you have as a company- At least you could get this one little thing right.

    PS. everyone is starting to realize that the companies worth was so over dramatized.. Look at the business model. amazing

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  • Ilgaz Aug 24, 2012 Link

    They are also thinking everyone on planet likes/ uses facebook and also needs a dedicated app instead of a decent html5 mobile site which they don't have.
    Their horribly developed, memory leaking app comes with every freaking device on planet. There comes very deserved flames, 1 star reviews and very rightfully paranoid people killing their brand value.
    All they need is a basic "get facebook app" which will show once and 90% of flames will disappear.
    When people root their phone killing their guarantee just to disable/ freeze your app, you should think for a second.
    STOP BUNDLING.

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  • Eric McBride Aug 25, 2012 Link

    Very nice points guys. @Patrick - Your point about profit from mobile is so valid, which is why I wonder how FB hasn't put much more focus on creating a quality app. They cant bitch about it if they dont put the work in! FB was overvalued to begin with, and now they really are in very trick situation. Less than $4 per customer? WOW.

    @Christopher - I know right! So crazy that FB ignored Android AND IOS. They have damn near a billion users now, and no way to profit off them. It's really unbelievable.

    @llqaz - I cant count how many times I've had to force close my FB app. FB just doesnt get it, and whats becoming more and more obvious, is that they probably never will.

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  • CJ Brown Aug 27, 2012 Link

    I don't think asking Facebook Employees to turn in their iPhones for an Android Smart Phone (its a personal choice whatever you want to use) as a valid solution towards a horrible app (Twitter & Google + are still a better experience) ...

    I do think Facebook would be wise to work with Google to develop a better Facebook app (social networks have lost their appeal as we realize that our personal lives are under a microscope that Co's are making a profit on - hey that's my personal info, how about a cut of that profit based on my social profile for me, please?) ...

    I'm sure mot of us have found Apps on Google Play which allow you to do Facebook, Twitter, Google +, etc as one Widget (& it operates better) ...

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  • Eric McBride Aug 28, 2012 Link

    Yeah...forcing them isn't a good idea. They should WANT to improve the app on their own.

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