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Use Android? Uninstall Facebook and Messenger for a faster smartphone

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It’s often said that Facebook is a serious power-drain on Android, but is it more than hearsay?

Facebook could be negatively impacting both the speed and battery life of your Android device.

That’s according to a Reddit user that actually tested the outcome of removing both Facebook and Facebook Messenger from their smartphone.

The user tested the time it took to launch 20 apps over 15 runs using the DiscoMark benchmarking app on an LG G4, and found a 15% increase with both Messenger and Facebook uninstalled.

“Most [arguments] are anecdotal and more in the “I am pretty sure I feel my phone is faster ballpark,” wrote user /u/pbrandes_eth. "I tried to put this to the test in a more scientific manner.”

fb uninstallImage credit: /u/pbrandes_eth

Adding fuel to the fire, Guardian journalist Samuel Gibbs also uninstalled the apps to measure their effect on battery life.

According to Gibbs, his Huawei Nexus 6P has 20% more battery “over the course of a day” each day for a week. However, this isn’t such a scientific method compared to the Reddit user’s process.

When asked for comment, a Facebook spokesperson told TrustedReviews:

“We have heard reports of some people experiencing speed issues stemming from our Android app. We are looking into this and will keep you posted. We are committed to continuing to improve these issues.”

Both investigations were sparked by a post on Android Central prompting users to uninstall Facebook on Android devices.

“Recently I noticed some performance issues on multiple phones, and had started paying closer attention to what exactly was causing these problems,” said Android Central blogger Russell Holly. “When Facebook turned out to be one of the more egregious resource hogs, I uninstalled it to see how things improved.”

Holly continued: “Not only did my performance issues go away entirely, but I discovered I didn’t actually lose any of the Facebook features I cared about by uninstalling the app.”

As such, it’s clear that there’s growing evidence that suggests Facebook negatively impacts performance on Android phones.

Nexus 6PA Nexus 6P, like the one tested by Gibbs

Related: Best Android Apps 2016

Why does Facebook slow down your phone?

The main problem with Facebook is that the app is always running in the background, even if you’re not connected to the internet via mobile data or Wi-Fi.

It does this to provide notifications quickly, and offer shorter app-loading times. But that hogs your phone’s RAM, and plays havoc with battery life, because they launch and start working as soon as your handset is booted up.

In fact, all of the Facebook-owned apps operate like this, including WhatsApp and Instagram.

However, in the interest of fairness, many other apps also operate in a similar fashion, such as: TuneIn, Dropbox, Spotify, Android Wear, and Microsoft’s OneDrive.

Nevertheless, Facebook’s consistent polling clearly offers the potential for performance problems – let us know what you think in the comments.

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