It turns out uninstalling Facebook for Android is pretty great

While it's not my favorite social network, Facebook is where I go to see photos and commentary from local friends and family I don't see every day. And it does that really well, most of the time. Recently I noticed some performance issues on multiple phones, and had started paying closer attention to what exactly was causing these problems. When Facebook turned out to be one of the more egregious resource hogs, I uninstalled it to see how things improved.

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.

I have family currently very far away on military assignment, and since Facebook is their social network of choice it's the best place for me to see pictures and video of that family on a daily basis. I have Facebook set to notify whenever those family members post something, and when I uninstalled the app that I wasn't thrilled with the idea of missing out of those notifications. On the first day after uninstalling, I just kept Facebook open in a Tab on my desktop computer and checked that occasionally. Over the weekend, however, I'm not usually in my office for long. Curiosity lead me to opening Facebook in Chrome on my phone, and figured I would just refresh it occasionally to see what was happening on that social network.

It turns out Facebook's mobile browser implementation is fairly well put together. The UI is quite similar to the app, and Chrome for Android is fast enough that things like scrolling performance and load times for photos wasn't all that different either. There are no autoplaying videos as I scroll, which is awesome, and I still had the ability to switch accounts when I wanted to check in on the Android Central Facebook page. Opening links pops open a new Chrome tab by default instead of trying to load Facebook's "lightweight" WebView client. I still had the Facebook Messenger app installed, so getting messages from friends and family who only used Facebook was still happening.

Oh, right. And I was actually getting notifications through Chrome.

Facebook Chrome Notification

When you log in to Facebook on Chrome for Android, you get a little pop-up asking if you want Chrome to allow Facebook to pass notifications to you even when you don't have Chrome open. If you enable this option, your Facebook notifications show up in your notification tab as Chrome notifications. Tap the notification, and Chrome loads Facebook in a new tab for you and you're taken straight to your notifications on Facebook just like you would if the app were installed on your phone.

If you're regularly unhappy with the Facebook app on your phone, this is well worth considering.

Active Facebook users, people who enjoy all of the features and services Facebook has to offer through their apps, will notice a few things missing. Instant Articles doesn't work on Facebook's web implementation, for obvious reasons. There's no location-based functionality here, so no notifications letting you know friends have checked in somewhere. Gifs don't autoplay in Chrome, and there's no auto-like button in your notification tray when you get notified for a post. For a more casual user like me, these aren't features I miss, and I think it's great Facebook has put so much effort into their mobile implementation so users who find the app to be a little much can still have a great experience.

If you're regularly unhappy with the Facebook app on your phone, this is well worth considering. Not only does this setup meet all of my needs, but it makes me question how hard it is for other apps, services and websites — yes, including ours — to offer a better mobile browser experience. Facebook has reset my expectations for the mobile web, and it wouldn't be the worst thing ever for more people to expect more from their mobile web as well.

Russell is a Contributing Editor at Android Central. He's a former server admin who has been using Android since the HTC G1, and quite literally wrote the book on Android tablets. You can usually find him chasing the next tech trend, much to the pain of his wallet. Find him on Facebook and Twitter

424 Comments
  • I did this a few weeks ago and am glad I did it. Not only is it a performance hog, but it's a huge battery killer, especially in combination with the Facebook Messenger app. Opening up Amplify there were dozens of Facebook-related wakelocks and services running, many of which were some of the top services causing wakelocks on my phone.
  • What if I was to tell you, that there was a guy (me) that was able to go through life, happily, without ever joining Facebook? Now, what if I was to tell you, that guy (me) disabled/deleted Facebook on every new phone he got without second thought? Posted via the Android Central App
  • "You don't have Facebook?! Haha! What a loser weirdo!" (Neither do I. Never have. G+ is smarter.)
  • You had me until Google +. Now there's a worthless platform.
  • No Posted via the Android Central App
  • G+ is so much better. Posted via the Android Central App
  • It would be if any of my friends actually used G+
  • It's not for friends. It's for people who have interests.
  • Yes that also gets disabled!!
  • If you think G+ is Facebook2 then it is worthless .. to you. But G+ is awesome, it is the nowadays USENET.
  • That is a great way of explaining G+. Though this is coming from someone who viewed usenet through the eyes of slrn back in the day. Yes, even binaries. Multipart was fun. :)
  • If you are looking for Android stuff, G+ is where it's at. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yea, cause everything "you" think is worthless is actually worthless. LOL
  • I laugh whenever I hear someone call Google+ worthless. Ignorance is bliss. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Exactly Posted via the Android Central App
  • Spotted the Google employee!
  • Spotted the Facebook employee. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Mewe.com is even better, and it's got encrypted pm,as a added feature and very light weight and not a battery hog like fakebook
  • What if I were to tell you that NBC did a whole hour show about someone (you) not joining Facebook, and it was the most watched episode in the universe? Posted via the GS6 Active, aka GS6 M.E. (Manly Edition)
  • I would say 'meh' and that I wasnt impressed. People with no friends or family dont really have a need for it. So not using the service doesnt really mean anything.
  • I can tell you now, if you have social skills AND friends and family you DON'T need it either. No one needs Facebook, its a pile of s**t. You don't have that interesting a life and neither do your friends. Real friends call you up and ask if you want to go out for a beer, not post of pics of them having a beer and you ain't there.
  • Sometimes Facebook is a necessity. Many universities created student groups for housing or for specific programmes/courses. One must have Facebook to get by in these situations. This is done because the universities recognise that Facebook has the widest reach of any social platform. Congratulations on not having been in this situation. Groups alone is enough for me to continue needing to keep my Facebook account. I realize that other services like G+ also offer similar features, but getting people to use a different platform is very, very difficult. Posted via the Android Central App
  • So basically you're saying that Facebook is a necessity because it exists. That perfectly summarizes useless to me. Posted via the Android Central App
  • This is the absolute perfect summary of social media. Seriously people, you're not that important. And neither is your life. If it was, and the people looking at your feed cared so much about you, you'd be experiencing life WITH THEM the things you're posting about. Plus, it's really starting to turn into a narcissist's platform, pictures of themselves constantly. I don't have FB, but my co-worker does and she showed hers the other day. I'm like, "do you just take pictures of yourself? Don't all your 864 'friends' know what you look like?"
  • OR.... they use that function of the phone rarely used anymore and actually called someone.
  • Exactly. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I did this a little while back. Let me say, after a few weeks, I looked back and realized how much stress that thing was causing me. Never again.
  • I used to use it daily, now I check it monthly, if that. I do use it to post before and after photos for work, simply to increase my companies presence on Google. but it's not for everyone, and other than getting the old group of college friends together once a year, I really don't have much use for it. It was a lot better when my girlfriends, and their friends, carelessly posted drunken, provocative pics partying the night before. Unfortunately those are now replaced with those same girls kids. Cute, but I don't need to see pics of little Timmy and Amanda every day!
  • Wow, so edgy and cool, not being on facebook. What a new idea, AND to brag about it. You are on new ground my friend, a 21st century explorer the likes of which have not been seen since the explorers of old.
  • Purple Zebra liked this. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Lololol... +1 LG G3.. waiting for Marshmallow...
  • And the cool thing is, you're not even smug about it. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I don't think anybody gives a fuq. I don't have Facebook. Never have. It's not that difficult to go without it and still keep your relationships with other human beings intact. Everybody who's ever existed has been doing that since the dawn of time, save for the last 10 years. Posted via the Android Central App
  • "Everybody who's ever existed has been doing that since the dawn of time, save for the last 10 years." Same thing with smartphones. Sell yours and go back to smoke signals.
  • How long have we had the light bulb? 125 years or so? Posted via the Android Central App
  • I see alot of younger people getting off crackbook because their parents are on it :) Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yep. I think Facebook is for middle aged people mostly now and will probably follow those people for the future. The younger generation has other apps they are using now.
  • Not sure why you got downvoted there, because it's true. Facebook is now actively being used by my parents and their parents generations, and I'm in my 40s (and my son does not have an account). I'm on it as well and have found some great groups of old friends, mostly for reunion purposes (online or otherwise), from college, high school, all the way to elementary school. I've even found some kindergarten friends on Facebook that I haven't seen for 30+ years. There's nothing bad about this. It's just what it is. To get back on topic though, I too don't have Facebook app installed (or have it disabled) on any of my mobile devices. I access it strictly through computer browsers. I don't need to have it accessible all the time.
  • Unfortunately your opinions don't trump data. E.g. http://sproutsocial.com/insights/new-social-media-demographics/#facebook "In fact, Facebook data shows that the 18–24 age range is still the biggest demographic using the site.
    87% of adults 18–29 use Facebook.
    73% of adults 30–49 use Facebook.
    63% of adults 50–64 use Facebook.
    56% of adults 65+ use Facebook.
    Facebook also seems to skew more heavily toward women, with 77% of adult females on the site and 66% adult males."
  • Nice post. Posted via the Android Central App from my Nexus 6 or Pixel C.
  • http://www.investopedia.com/articles/markets/100215/twitter-vs-facebook-... "As of 2015, 72% of online American adults use Facebook. The site is especially popular among online women, 77% of whom are users of the site. In addition, 82% of online adults between 18 to 29 use Facebook, along with 79% of those 30 to 49, 64% of those 50 to 64 and 48% of those 65 and older. While its user base is dominated by those over 25, Facebook still has over 50 million users under the age of 25. Facebook is more popular with middle-aged adults than other social networks. In the U.S., the average monthly active user of Facebook was 40 years old in 2014. "
  • Yeah, but I bet if they collected stats for Under 18's, they'd discover a sharp decline in penetration. Most of the kids in that generation might have a Facebook account, but they barely touch it. All the kids I meet use apps like Snap Chat. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Most young teens these days don't have a facebook, or maybe have one but never use it. Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat are the most popular social media apps for them.
  • That's correct the kids use ramble, moonlight, fresco etc. You have not heard?
  • I keep Facebook for friends, family, and for event invites from some non-tech groups I'm a part of. Almost everyone has a Facebook so it's the most convenient way to connect with people and send out invites. I don't know a single person who uses G+. I've tried to use it many times but Facebook/Twitter are just better for me.
  • "Most young teens these days don't have a facebook" "Almost everyone has a Facebook" Contradict yourself often?
  • Hmm, wasn't aware most people are teens. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Surely if most teens weren't using Facebook then the statement "Almost everyone has a Facebook" would be false. Teens make up a very large portion of the population in the US, even more so in developing countries.
  • Teens make up about 9% of the population, and because of the dropping birth rate, that % will continue to decrease for the forseeable future.
  • 9% is a good chunk and its bigger in developing countries.
  • What if I told you that there were people (most) who don't care what you use or don't use? Posted via the Android Central App
  • What if I was to tell you, that both my old relatives living miles away and my school clubs interact primarily through facebook? Or that it's a good way to stay in touch with friends who live across the country! Shock! I don't understand the anti-facebook crowd. I totally understand the many valid reasons for disliking and not using Facebook, but no need to act condescending or superior due to it. You don't need facebook; great! Plenty of other people use it to talk with families or coordinate events, because it simply offers an excellent platform for doing so. Posted via the Android Central App
  • "What if I was ..." What if I were to telk you that the subjunctive mood lives?
  • @greenmachine... I'd say you're not alone.
  • Good for you. Do you want a cookie?
  • i'd be "like" who cares?
  • Facebook is so 2010.
  • Just go to ELLO and be done with it :-)
  • What if I were to tell you I am that same guy!!
  • ... I used to be like you. It was amazing. Then one day I decided to sign up - needless to say, I wished I hadn't. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Isn't it weird how people have different life situations and experiences and, therefore, different technology needs? Sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt your self-congratulatory anti-Facebook public masturbation.
  • **** yourself sheeple
  • but the article is not about you ...
  • Same, but it seems like you woke up all the narcissists and slacktivists.
  • Me too! I stopped using facebook about 3 years ago. Don't miss it at all. I'm wondering if iPhone users experience the same thing with their facebook app as the author here did?
  • Hey! I found him. It's the guy that tells me that in every comment section on every article posted about Facebook.
  • The sad part is people like us who do this are instantly viewed as serial killers when in reality all facebook users are just narcissists.
  • Wow, you're edgy. You're raging against the machine, here.
  • ^^^^ THIS...This...So much this. Once I uninstalled Wastebook, I got my battery to stay charged for at least 8 hours. With Facebook (yes, even with notifications turned off), my phone was dead by lunchtime.
  • Sounds like you have a pos phone...I have Facebook, use it, and have notifications turned on and I have ZERO issues getting through the day. But then again...who really gives a f*@k either way...Facebook still sucks, whichever way you go...
  • I was picking up over 200+ wakelocks an hour from the Facebook app over a year ago. I will NEVER install it again. Facebook's Messenger is almost as bad, and I would promptly be rid of its garbage if it wasn't the easiest and fasted way to contact a few people.
  • I uninstalled facebook a long time ago. My battery has thanked me ever since. I also advice all my friends to uninstall facebook too when they complain about battery life. The chrome browser approach works fine for me.
  • I tell friends and family the same thing too. As soon as they say they have phone issues my first question is to ask them if FB is installed.
  • About a year ago when they updated their app to allow access to battery stats is when I deleted the app and started using the browser. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I've watched the battery like a hawk for years now and maybe back in 2012 this was true, but since you uninstalled Facebook for years now, how can you know its actual effect on battery? I watch my wakelocks daily as well as app drain. Facebook NEVER shows up in the top 10 (it's usually Google Apps most of the time).
  • Google Play Services is a huge battery killer.
  • They have access to your stats in there permissions.
    They can change your stats in there favor or remove there use altogether. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Hey, is that tinfoil hat comfortable? Was eyeing one up, then I thought...nawwww, I have a life...
  • This was also something I did awhile ago! My phone is so much smoother as a result. If you haven't done this do it today! Posted via the Android Central App
  • I uninstalled it a couple weeks ago when the article came out about it purposely crashing on Android and really haven't looked back. It isn't as fluid on Chrome but it will do. Also my Nexus 5X runs much better without any Facebook apps hogging resources.
  • This sounds awesome. I can finally get rid of that stupid app.
  • I keep Messenger installed and I turned on Chrome notifications, but I may even turn those off soon. I just don't use Facebook much.
  • Not many people who are productive do anymore.
  • Giving this a go since 3 comments above left positive feedbacks. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Trying this now. Let's see how it goes. AT&T Galaxy Note 3
  • Let me know ow how it goes. I'm thinking about it too.
  • I must be the only person that doesn't have a problem with the Facebook app. I open it regularly, and it's never shown up on the battery stats of any of my phones. Same with Messenger.
  • HIPSTER POST. Wahhh, I can't use what everyone ELSE is using! I need something more obscure! Obnoxious and annoying.
  • How does Russell sharing a way to extend his battery life while also still using the services he uses count as obnoxious and annoying?
  • "While it's not my favorite social network" Unnecessary and hipster intro.
  • No, hipster would be putting in a Google+ reference. This was just plain honesty. Also, what's wrong with not wanting to be on a network that manipulates its users and artificially limits the reach of non-paying posts and users?
  • Wahh wahh wahh. Get over it. All apps do this. It's how they are served up to you free. You're not important enough to be stalked so don't worry about it. Neither am I. People who proudly announce they aren't on Facebook are the biggest douches on the planet. No one cares about you so quit with the THEY ARE SPYING ON ME BS. Facebook is the only social network that can do all of the above. Twitter is pointless (PS - fawning over celebrities is idiotic), Snapchat is just temporary pictures (WHY?!?!), Whatsapp doesn't work on anything but phones, etc etc. It doesn't take a genius to figure this all out...
  • Seems like you're the only one acting like a ****** here... Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yep. Posted via the Android Central App
  • You didn't read the article. This isn't about privacy. It's how the app is a resource hog. We all know about this. That's why many of us are starting to ditch it. And by it, I mean the app. Really, you're more immature than the tomato. Sorry to say this, but I hope Jerry gives you some medicine.
  • I wish I could use numbers as letters and be that cool.
  • You just wish you could be cool. But unfortunately, you're not.
  • I don't use FB much, granted I don't proudly advertise it, but it has nothing to do with spying. I just honestly don't care what people post on it, and I'm close enough to my circle if friends where we group text each other. If that makes me a ********* than so be it, lol ... I agree with you about Twitter, I just don't get it. Maybe if I was a writer, radio host, etc I'd get into it, but following Lebron James and Justin Beiber just doesn't interest me!
  • My sentiments exactly! Posted via the Android Central App
  • I find Twitter to be good for following my favorite authors. I like the updates about new projects.
  • Good god man, you're the worst. Chanting "wah wah wah" does absolutely nothing besides make you look like a brat and a troll. No one is crying, or complaining besides you. Overally, the irony of your idiocy is pretty great. Side note: None of the apps you listed are social networks.
  • You don't get the use of Twitter, Snapchat, etc. because you likely have no friends to use it with.
  • Plenty. It's just dumb. Snapchat. The photos go away. Why not just keep them like Facebook does? Twitter is just status messages and links. Why not just post them on Facebook? Whatsapp? You can only use on a phone, why not FM or text? Need I go on? If I had a friend that used Twitter more than sparingly, I would punch them in the face.
  • I guess you don't have any chicks sending you late night nudy pics then huh?
  • Well don