iOS and Facebook
Circa late 2016, my Apple iPhone 6s Plus was beginning to run short of memory. Granted, it only had 16 GB and probably should have been purchased with at least double. Looking at the largest consumers of memory, Facebook was always at the top of the applications.
There are a few tricks to get some memory back including trying to download a 5 GB movie and tricking iOS into freeing unused app memory in an attempt to get the movie onto the phone. You can also delete the app and reinstall it. This helps temporarily but it’s annoying having to do this every day or two.
Android and Facebook
My four month old Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge was having performance issues for many months. Just when I thought everything that could be done to improve performance was completed, the phone began to lag once again. The performance was so poor that I was rebooting the phone daily and stopping all open apps several time daily. Gaming was slow and choppy.
I remembered my experiences from iOS but that iPhone 6s Plus only had 16 GB of storage. In contrast, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge had 32 GB and was showing 12 GB as free so I wasn’t thinking Facebook would be a problem.
Be sure to read Some Help Fixing a Slow Samsung Galaxy Phone for a complete list of ideas to try if your phone is slowing down.
What’s the Problem?
The issue is that Facebook is a very busy application. It’s constantly running in the background and consuming memory and processor. Doesn’t care if you are playing a good game on your phone. The app could care less about how much storage you have left. It’s going to suck up what it can and doesn’t always clean up after itself.
A Good Alternative
See the photo attached to this article? Looks like Facebook, doesn’t it? Well it’s not.
The attached photo is an app called Friendly. It’s made to replace the Facebook app. Friendly provides the full Facebook feed but with some important differences. Most importantly, Friendly is nowhere near as resource intensive as Facebook. Friendly will replace the Facebook app plus Facebook Messenger.
Particularly appreciated is the ability to limit the notification check frequency. The selected time can be anywhere between 1 minute and one day. Fifteen minutes is the default value which seems reasonable. I really don’t need to get notifications every minute. In fact, I’m not sure I need it every fifteen minutes.
Friendly also provides some nice customization features that Facebook isn’t likely to offer. There are two great ones worthy of mention.
First up is the ability to hide the ‘Friends You May Know’ section. I never could quite understand how these people are suggested to me and appreciate never seeing them again.
The second great feature is available for $1.99 upgrade. This is the Ad Blocker feature. That’s right. No more Facebook ads. The way I see it, this is a more than fair price to the author for all the work done to create and maintain Friendly.
Remarkably, the constant performance lags have disappeared. While I know that Friendly isn’t solely responsible, I do believe that the elimination of the Facebook app was a large part of the issue.
Or Do This
For those that are done with an app for their feed, go with a browser. You can always get to the Facebook site using Chrome or Safari. While it’s not quite as easy to use as the app, it’s not as resource intensive and is certainly easier to shut down.
Bottom line: removal of the Facebook app improved performance on my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and Apple iPhone 6s Plus. Your mileage may vary but give some of these ideas a try if you are experiencing performance issues.