Why you shouldn’t install the Facebook app on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch

“I recently created a Facebook account after a long absence from the social media service. After I created my account I promptly installed the Facebook app and the Messenger app on my iOS devices,” Jim Lynch writes for CIO “I shouldn’t have bothered, Facebook’s iOS apps are a pain in the rear end and aren’t worth installing.”

“If Messenger is so great then why didn’t Facebook just offer it as an extra option for those who would appreciate and enjoy its features? The rest of us could have just used basic messaging in the Facebook iOS app and skipped having to switch back and forth between the main Facebook app and Messenger,” Lynch writes. “Another problem with the Facebook app on iOS is that it somehow manages to screw up the volume level on some people’s iPhones.”

“The easiest way around the problems of the Facebook apps is to skip installing them on your iOS devices,” Lynch writes. “If you want to use Facebook, just login via Safari on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. Facebook works perfectly in Safari, and you have the added benefit of being able to send and receive messages the usual way instead of having to fiddle with Messenger.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Facebook users: On iOS, do you use the Facebook app or visit Facebook.com via a web browser?


  1. I use Friendly+ – so I can easily switch back and forth between 2 different accounts.

    I believe it also does not Location Services all the time. It seems every time I try to tag a location while on Friendly+ is asks me for permission to Location Services at least …

    1. I agree. No problems, but on Safari I can copy and paste text to insert preceding postings. Otherwise, no problems with phone or iPad. Amazing how some people are so unlucky and miserable in their own little worlds.

    2. I remember when the mobile app came out it was really bad. And it continued to seem like they were just hobbling along, missing the opportunity to make a really great app. Then as Facebook features grew and had more and more types of features/interactions, the mobile app still was hobbled in some way, and wasn’t full featured.

      Today, it still has some puzzling misses, but parallels desktop Facebook much better.

      I wish there was copy / paste on others’ posts on mobile.

      1. Exactly. The info provider’s website is usually way ahead, featurewise (and buggednesswise), than the app.
        I also absolutely hate the proliferation of apps on iDevices. It is just a way for companies to lock the competition out. Not so if you just visit their websites, because you retain the ease of easily choosing which company to visit.
        Case in point: the proliferation of newspaper apps.

    3. I’ve had the volume issue and bloated app size happen to me. Listen to music, then when you load up FB app, the volume notches down as if the FB app is about to play a video. I have FB app auto-play video option turned off completely but this still happens. I also suspected it’s because of the in-app sounds from FB app but that’s also turned off… Yet this volume interference still happens. Very annoying.
      Also the bloated size ballooning to over 500GB (on a 16GB iPhone!) is crazy. Feel like I’m using android needing to keep deleting and reinstalling apps to keep memory/storage space in check….

  2. I’m suspicious of anybody who recommends using the browser app instead of the native app, as responsiveness and usability are severely impacted, and several features are missing. The location services thing is a non-issue as you can simply disable it.

    The only problem I’ve had with Facebook on iOS is that it caches content or photos and balloons to several hundred megabytes. I’ve deleted Facebook before when it was taking up north of 350MB. I’d blame it on Facebook, but the same thing happens to Spotify and several other apps, including a local classified app. I put the blame on Apple. There’s no way to nuke an app’s data separate from the app, so the only way to reclaim the lost space is to delete and reinstall the app(s).

      1. Right, the developer could have programmed that capability into the app themselves. Would you really want to be able to wipe data from every app? So much for game saves, customer data, spreadsheets, anything else that’s designed to store important information rather than cached images. It just doesn’t make sense for most scenarios for apple to do this; it should be done by the app developer.

        1. You and Sean are both making a big assumption; that the data that accumulates is controlled by the developer. I don’t know that it is and neither do either of you. It’s possible that the developers built in a cacheing scheme and that it’s not flushing that cache, but it’s just as likely that iOS is doing it. Like I said, it’s a bunch of apps that accumulate “data” even if I don’ t want them to, so I’m not sure the developers are at fault. It’s possible, but I’m not sure.

          Regardless, yes – it would be nice to “flush” an app’s data without deleting the app itself, just like how I can delete a folder from a computer, and empty the cache in Safari or even “reset” it.

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