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Use Facebook in a different way with these apps
Samsung Galaxy S9 Facebook Apps 5 min read 61 comments

Use Facebook in a different way with these apps

Why would anybody need an alternative app for Facebook when there is already an official Facebook app? Because it eats up your data, battery and memory. 

Despite all the negative press about Facebook recently, it's hard to say goodbye to the app, and there are no real alternatives to Facebook right now. In addition, the app of course can be a drain on any smartphone's system.

These two problems can be solved. Either install a different app to save your data, battery life and memory, or if you want to delete the app for good, we recommend an alternative.

Facebook Lite

Previously, your only options for a slimmer, less data intensive version of Facebook were the mobile site and wrapper apps. But now we have an official Facebook app that does the trick.

Facebook Lite is a standalone app that can replace the regular Facebook app. It uses less data and works on 2G networks or when you don't have a stable connection to the internet, meaning it won't cost you so much data if you want to keep your monthly bill low. It's also a small app, so it doesn't take long to download and install.

It's the fastest version of Facebook you'll find. See your friends' posts and upload photos quickly and efficiently. The app is compatible with most Android phones, even older ones. You don't lose too many features since you can still message and have group conversations, get notifications and share updates with multimedia attached.

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Go on: press it. It's time. / © AndroidPIT

Facebook mobile site shortcut: for basic use

Let's start with the easiest and lightest method. If you head to Facebook in Chrome, hit the options button and select  Add to Home screen, then you've got a quick and convenient way to check Facebook without all the resource-intensive bulk of the official app.

There's practically nothing you can't do via this method that you can through the app, either. In Chrome, just head to the options menu, go to Settings > Site settings > Notifications and make sure notifications are allowed, and you'll continue to receive notifications for new messages, friend requests and everything else. 

As you will see below, there are some extra features you can access with a little help, including a notification shade bar.

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Allowing notifications in Chrome lets the Facebook site operate very similarly to the app. / © AndroidPIT

Tinfoil: for the original wrapper

As with all the apps listed from here on in, Tinfoil is little more than a wrapper for the mobile Facebook site, making it light, fast and far, far less resource-intensive than the official Facebook app.

Tinfoil is the original, open-source Facebook site wrapper. It offers increased privacy, stripping out Facebook's data mining capabilities from the mobile site and serving everything to you in a neat package.

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Tinfoil is lighter than the official Facebook app and increased your privacy. / © AndroidPIT

Swipe: for the closest thing to the Facebook app

The newest entry into the Facebook wrapper arena, Swipe places a heavier emphasis on UX and UI design than the other apps here. The app has the same battery and memory-saving advantages – although currently it is slightly more battery-intensive than the other wrappers found on this page – but its main draw is how it functions more like the official app. Things like pressing on the active tab to scroll to the top of the page and tapping again to refresh the page will make this the easiest wrapper to transition to.

Its name comes from its tab-swiping navigation system, which allows you to scroll through your news feed, friend requests, notifications, and more, just by swiping left and right.

It also has a pin lock feature, securing the app against curious peepers, and there are a host of themes that change the colors, as well as four Look and Feel options that alter the layout and look of the app more drastically.

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One of Swipe's themes is a dark theme, and there's an AMOLED black one, too, for even less battery-consumption. / © AndroidPIT

Toffeed: for the slickest experience

Toffeed provides perhaps the smoothest wrapper of all. It's crisp, clean and fast, and it also has an omnipresent circular button placed at the bottom right of the screen that you can press to make a post, be it a status update, photo or check in.

Another feature of note is that Toffeed enables more granular notification sync frequency options than any other app listed. Anything down to five minutes is possible. This determines not only notification timeliness but also how battery-intensive the app is.

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Toffeed is fast and smooth, and it offers a quick way to post to Facebook. / © AndroidPIT

If none of these alternative apps suit you and you just want to limit your data use on the regular Facebook app, you can adjust how many photos you want to see by following Facebook's tutorial.

Have you used any other social media platforms or deleted Facebook all together? Tell us your thoughts in the comments. 

61 comments

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  • I just want a way to turn the sound off by default on videos and have other options FB won't let me do with their app. What's my best choice for this?


  • I only use FB for family stuff, I spent a good 15 minutes going through the privacy & security settings along with the data gathering advert settings and turned everything OFF - including and probably most important setting APP Platform - this allows FB to track you via the "like & share" buttons inbeded in Web pages.
    Also and again probably more important is the App permissions - especially microphone permissions. FB has been shown to use the microphone on mobile devices to listen to conversations in order to deliver specific ads via their platform.

    You can get the same functionality without FB sucking all your private data and spitting out adverts.

    Peace 🖖


  • Link play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.chappie92k.lite

    This is what i use. Its Old School Interface of Facebook and app is pretty good. Only 1-2 mb and use around 2mb ram. Make my phone lot faster plus basic Facebook experience


  • Swipe was great, then it started playing videos automatically and making it impossible to browse pages. Now it's unusable.


  • It appears that the Swipe app has been abandoned by the developer. It immediately crashes on anything newer than a Galaxy S6.

    Oh, and "cookies?" ROFLMAO... too funny, AndroidPit.


  • "Febu" is the only app I use for Facebook.


  • Ive tried all of them and Friendly for FB is my favorite...But Swipe FB Pro and Maki Pro are both pretty good too...Simple for FB Pro is up and coming, and it might be the best after some new updates come along


  • I used almost all. In my experience folio is top. And then puffin


  • Try puffin for facebook. Equally good


  • I uninstalled the fb and messenger app on my s7 edge ages ago through them being a battery hog. I use the Chrome browser plus Swipe Pro, and I don't have to install a separate Messenger app. I can copy and paste on this app quite well! I don't miss the official app at all! :)


  • Do any of these facebook alternative apps allow you to do this:
    On facebook, click on the icon to add a picture to a post and be taken to a storage site (like google drive or dropbox) so I don't have to store my pictures on my phone?


  • I've been using Metal for the past few months, but it's buggy. It refreshes every time I return from a link, so I can't comment on our share that link from FB.


  • The most of them watch out to get power and money. The social networks are overloaded with content like Facebook where the real content is hard to find. How about this new site we use now: conint.org


  • Does metal say when you have a new message? I've been searching for an app like that so I can ditch messenger as well


    •   7
      Deactivated Account Jan 26, 2017 Link to comment

      Try Friendly for Facebook. Its best i used so far. You can also replace messenger with it. Its really an amazing app.


      • Go on New Tab and copy past link
        Best app for Facebook
        Link : play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.redfish.bestappforfacebook


  • Looks like Facebook/Google has removed Swipe. Apkmirror apks install but cannot login.


  • None of the above apps will replace the original ...They are either far below or far behind..!!


  • Does anyone who uses Tinfoil or/and Metal gets the news feed refreshed after clicking on a link while on mobile data?

    Whenver I click a news it takes me to a website (outside facebook) when I finish reading and press the return key I get a blank page and if I press the return key again it refreshes the news feed and takes me all the way up. This is annoying and I have no way of fixing it by my self. This only happens when Im using my mobile data and NOT on WiFi.


    • I am just trying out the Metal app for Facebook on my mini pad. Each day the functions improve. I haven't had your exact problems and basically love the way Metal works...HOWEVER, there are numerous little malfunctions stll happening, like I uploaded 3 photos at once yesterday to a group site--it showed that it uploaded a 4th pic also (that I hadn't selected), so I edited my caption to include it--and then, alas, next time I go on, that 4th picture wasn't there! Sometimes my toolbar gets covered up & I can't figure out how to get the icons back to navigate. Thats a bit frustrating. Bit it certainly uses less data. My data had been nearly used up & I HAD to find an alternative to the beefy FB app.


  • Rusty Apr 23, 2016 Link to comment

    I use Fast for facebook, it's very light and non-intrusive


    • Go on New Tab and copy past link
      Best app for Facebook
      Link : play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.redfish.bestappforfacebook


  • Alex Apr 23, 2016 Link to comment

    I prefer to use the Facebook chrome shortcut add on home screen because it just saves out a hell out of data ,You Dont need to install any particular App and consume data and Its easily deletable and constructable as well you can do it within seconds.


    • You're right. I know the apps, can make you do a few extra things, that you can't do by opening Gmail, social then to chrome. A few extra seconds, by going thru gmail is better than having mb's of buggy software, to use.


      • Go on New Tab and copy past link
        Best app for Facebook
        Link : play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.redfish.bestappforfacebook


  • rafay Mar 17, 2016 Link to comment

    Does anyone know an alternative for the fb app? Because i don't like the wrappers of the site.


    •   7
      Deactivated Account Jan 26, 2017 Link to comment

      Check Friendly for Facebook :)


    • Go on New Tab and copy past link
      Best app for Facebook
      Link : play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.redfish.bestappforfacebook


  • I feel compelled to say I'm a bit irritated by the author littering this article with the phrase "shaded notification bar" yet never says what in the f**k that is and never posts a picture or screenshot. Are we all supposed to know? Perhaps the reader needs to also be a mind reader or have a magic crystal ball. I could google it but this author wasted a lot of real estate with unimportant words and worthless pictures of nothing.


    • The image of Metal demonstrates what I am talking about.


      • Thanks but I still don't know what it is or does. Metal has a shade bar. OK. What part of the picture is the shade bar? Does it pop-up in the middle of the screen? For how long? When does it pop-up?


    • I just installed Metal recently. It looks like the bar he refers to is one that shows up on the main screen of your phone or device when you are signed in to Facebook (?) Its like a link back to your FB which is now under Metal wrapper. Not sure, but maybe it has been showing once in awhile, occasionally when I'm actally off of the Metal/FB app. Anyway, you wouldn't know what it is until you see it for yourself after having installed Metal.


  • I interchange between the official app and the Chrome version. The only reason I use the app is because I can copy and paste on my phone. I haven't found a way to do it in Chrome, unless anyone knows any different!


  • How strange it is that Folio didn't make this list. I call BS.


  • Best alternative for me is org.indywidualni.fblite on f-droid market (I can't paste link).
    Unfortunatelly, I'm looking alternative for fb messenger and probably not exists good replacement.


    • That's "Face Slim" (which used to be called FB Lite but was changed due to confusion with the similarly named facebook app) which I suggested below. You can now set it up to give notifications regarding messages that arrive and you can stipulate how often it checks for such notifications (as often as every 2 minutes). It allows a dark theme as well which I like. I haven't tried some of the other options mentioned here, but FB Slim is about as good as it could be for me.


    • I believe the alternative app your talking about is called FaceSlim


  • Paolo Mar 16, 2016 Link to comment

    I've tried many of these alternatives, but I still keep the OG Facebook app but disabled everything. It's STILL the best way to upload photos and media, the wrappers just stall and fail at uploading when it wants to, it sucks.


  • I love Apus browser, small and lightningly fast, which has very convenient starting page including Facebook option.


  • "Facebook Lite" is also another alternative to Facebook, I'm using it presently and it works perfectly well and uses less data and battery,it's also good for those using 2G network


  • I've used "Face Slim" for quite a while obtained from F-Droid. Would be curious what others' thoughts are on it.

    github.com/indywidualny/FaceSlim


  • Ever since I got rid of the Facebook app on my phone I have noticed it performs better. Maybe it's the darn hooks to the NSA, but not missing the app and using the browser works just fine for me.


  • yes, android official app is not that good for slow connections. so i use Facebook lite app. what do you think about it


  • Aswin Mar 15, 2016 Link to comment

    FOLIO


  • Tinfoil for Facebook available both at the Play Store and F-Droid. No ads and also handles the messages.


  • Well, I really appreciate Flipster, but pictures just don't load. I'll keep testing. Enjoyed stopping using the official Facebooks app.


  • Anyone knows if there's a way to fix the image loading issues on flipster for facebook? so far it's the one I like the most, but that bug keeps me avoiding it to use it


  • Atrium was great but unfortunatly is also abandoned. I know it can be silly for some of you but for me the best solution is the older version of FB apk - spec. 7.0.0.22.28 - fast and complete.


  • Maybe I'm 'old school' but I just use dolphin and browse to Facebook and twitter etc. One App, does them all, no ads.


  • Klyph is my personal pick but the dev had to abandon it thanks to Facebook stopping third-party app developers from making fully functional Facebook apps. I used to use Atrium which I like the look of, but it used to consistently double post my messages to people and never notify me when I received a picture message.