Aug 23 AT 3:40 PM Dustin Earley 91 Comments

Facebook employees forced to use Android so they’ll see how bad app really is


While the iOS version of Facebook may have gotten a much improved native app today, Android users are still stuck with an abomination of an app. There are constant complaints over just how terrible the Android app is, and what’s worse, Facebook knows it. So just how do they plan on fixing it? By forcing employees to eat their own dog food.

There’s an old term used in the tech-sector known as “dogfooding.” In the software business, it applies to the employees of a company using their own products to examine the user experience. According to Business Insider, who has talked with “a handful of ex-Facebookers and others familiar with Facebook’s plans,” that’s exactly what Facebook is doing in order to improve their Android app.

Facebook employees are being pushed, or forced in some situations, to use Android devices simply because the Android app is terrible. Facebook figures that if developers have to use the Android app, they’ll realize just how bad it really is and work to make something they themselves would want to use. This is absolutely brilliant.

If having to experience how atrociously slow and error-prone the Facebook Android app is day in and day out doesn’t force Facebook employees to come up with something better, I can’t imagine what will.

Source: Business Insider

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • SparkyXI

    Heh heh heh.

    • Melinda87

      >>employees forced to use android>>

      Thats why me and my friends bought the iPhone 4.
      It works perfectly.
      We are so glad, purchasing the best of the best, the iPhone is a tremendous asset – truly the worlds best smartphone!
      We are using the facebook app all the time.

      Thanks Apple.

      Bye, Melinda

      • Dan Rice

        You do realize your iPhone app was just as shitty until today when they did a major update, right?

        • mmalakai10

          i just cant understand why iphone users dont like to admit that apps on iOS likethis one can be just as shitty or worst. this whole denial thing on the iphone has really turn reasonable user on the iOS platform into Apple zombies. i know iOS isnt perfect and apps do in FACT crash an become unresponsive on the iphone. do they talk about it NO….. why u ask? well becuz they dont want to face reality and make it seem like all that hype on getting the smartphone went to waste. also admitting anything going wrong on the device to any android fan so they can rub it in there faces. as a Android fan from the 1st released tmobile G1 smartphone. i will let iOS users continue the deny that apple products dont operate in any way wrong. ROTFFLMFAO

          • Oklai

            *offtopic* Starting off… I’m sick and tired of this ‘apple arrogance’. But then again, they pay sh*tload of money (too much then is worth/in comparison to others) so they expect to be better. I would feel ripped of if my 2000 euro tv would perform less then a 1200 euro tv, just to show a point. Nowadays apple products aren’t the best anymore, but you still pay Sloads of money for the brand, so people will keep telling themselves that their purchase is better to keep them feel good. Just let them be naïve if they wont want to open their eyes. Lets ignore them and enjoy ourselves.

          • Homncruse

            @Dan Rice, mmalakai10, and Oklai: Please register accounts before you make such awesome posts so you can properly receive credit for them. I upvoted them anyway, but it feels like a waste…

        • Peter

          Actually, I have to disagree with that statement. I don’t know if the situation is isolated to just me, but I always use the iPad Version of Facebook rather than the one on my Android phone. The slow load times just frustrated me so much. I’m not saying the iOS App was perfect, but at least it ran smoothly. Just the load times. Ughhhh. The mobile version of Facebook in the browser says upon login, and I quote “Get Facebook for Android and browse faster.” That just made me laugh really.

      • clocinnorcal

        The iOS version just got a major update today because of the same issue. It never worked perfectly, and most iOS users will confirm that. In fact, before today it was worse than the Android version.

        • Alex

          But the iOS app was leagues better than the Android app before the update today. I have used both extensively, and the iOS app just was loads faster than the Android one. Stop spewing lies. Android was definitely worse, and lacking in the features.

          • Jamie

            Nope, not true at all. iOS version was much worse than Android. I’ve used them both for a long time.

          • redraider133

            Actually the IOS app was pretty awful before the last update. They sucked big time on both IOS and android but for awhile the IOS app was lacking further behind the android fb app.

        • Chris

          I can confirm totally. The old FB app on my iPhone sucked harder than a collapsed star. I hated it! The new version of the iOS app is lightyears ahead of the previous version. I preferred the android version. My main phone now is the 4S but I still have my 2.5 year old Droid Incredible and the Facebook app on it was actually better.

          Have patience Android-ers FB is probably already working on making your app awesome too.

          • iamXiV92a

            Ha ha ha @ Collapsed Star
            Thanks for the laugh – Long live Android!!!

      • NotRelevent

        My the delusions are strong with this one. But hey I completely understand the need to make yourself feel superior whilst hiding the shame that came from you buying (and then turning around and admitting it) the worlds shitiest smartphone.

      • Gil

        wow. you are really dumb

        • Melinda87

          Dumb is as dumb does!

          Bye, Melinda

      • Squeaks

        Last time I checked Apple dictates what you can or cannot use on iOS. So, how’s that any better then Facebook forcing employees to use Android?

      • gaasedal

        Some people think that iPhone is the best smartphone, because they think facebook is its operating system.
        Some people like me, have a life outside facebook, and realice that android may be a better choice :)

      • Jozef I Del Mundo

        Facebook is nothing to me… I am a Tumblr addict and Tumblr on android is such an amazing experience than on iPhone

      • shinydesert

        Great for you Melinda, I am very unlucky because I did not get the best phone ever, but I have a life.
        Are you one of those people that text their friends even when they are in the same restaurant or bar? :-):-):-)

      • George

        Lol, Apple customers are the leaders in arrogance, ignorance, and idiocy. XD

      • Col

        You AND your friends got rid of your phones and bought iPhones for one app? Liar.

  • skugern

    I hope at least one of them is using a Nexus 7. The performance of the FB app on it is terrible, taking 5+ minutes just to load a picture when all other apps on the N7 are speedy.

    • Alex

      IT is really crappy on the Nexus 7, can’t believe how much it is. I just check FB on my iPhone rather than my Nexus 7, even though it would look a lot better on the 7, just for the screen area.

    • thel0nerang3r

      I often end up backing out and trying to reload a picture. Usually the second reload loads in a few seconds. One feature I would like, is sharing a post to a friend from the mobile app. If there is a way, I can’t find it.

      • Derek

        Absolutely right. You have to load almost everything twice. The first load just sits there on “loading” with the circle spinning. Then you hit “Back” and then reload it and it usually works the second time. The facebook app is garbage.

  • killrgummibear

    this is awesome. all companies should do this. maybe then we’d have better working phones too.

  • Jeff

    Man, that’s either commitment or torture depending on who you are.

  • halo0

    I couldn’t take it anymore. I switched to Friendcaster. It’s not perfect, but it’s still way better than the native app!

  • Chise

    I use Flipboard for my mobile Facebook usage, its much quicker than the actual FB app.

    • herbivore83

      Good for reading FB, not good for interacting with FB. The mobile site is better than the app and that’s embarrassing.

  • Nate B.

    There’s no other way of saying it… Facebook developers have to be one of the dumbest group of people. They just now built up FB from the ground up using the native iOS code. So it actually works smoothly for once and looks better.

    Hopefully they they do the same with Android. They would always have update and break things or leave out basic common sense stuff. Like I hate when you receive a notification in the status bar and when you enter it by clicking on the notification in the status bar, that same notification will still be showing in the app on the notification world icon. So it’s like TWO notifications for one.

    Honestly if you make any app for any program you should know how it runs on that platform. There should always be a tester in your line of work or something. It’s like they lack common sense.

    • mattcoz

      Wait… you get notifications?! Heh, the app really is terrible, this is really good news.

    • Derek

      Do you think they’d rewrite it in java for Android? That’s android’s problem, it cant handle C code like iOS.

  • aranea

    Actually I like the fact that app sucks. It limits my use of facebook on my phone reducing procastination :)

  • Nate B.

    I mean it’s been like 6 years and they just now thought about using the native code for the platform they built their app on. iOS user just got that native build today. Please shed some light on Android now. They’re just silly.

  • Nate B.

    One last rant, lol, FB was busy trying to buy these companies not realizing features don’t make you rise to success. It’s the experience. They need to clean up.

  • rantmo

    I have such a severe antipathy for the Facebook app that I uninstalled it after it added extra icons to my apps. Amazingly, using the mobile site on my phone or the full site on my tablet is just as buggy and frustrating to use. I barely use FB for anything anymore since G+ was released but I still read it because of friends who refuse to use anything else.

  • Loony2nz

    Ya know, FB app on my Galaxy Nexus wasn’t all that bad. Considering I rarely use it anymore in favor of G+, I never considered the FB app as crappy. Guess I’ll have to use it more, but that means exposing myself to my retard friends who post everything that goes through their feeble minds. no…won’t do it. Go ahead update the app in Android code…I won’t notice :) hehe

    • Reidy

      Yep thats what I was saying… surprised at this article thought everyone at A and Me was on GNexus?

      Sure it isnt flawless.. but nothing to cry about. If you look at all the creenshots for Android version they are all from Galaxy Nexus so I guess its what they build on and everything else gets a port.. of a port.

      In fact its very smooth scrolling through news feed seems to cache everything well in advance..
      Occasionally you will get delay waiting for picture to load, once you click on it, but that happens on the website itself on a PC with 4GB RAM and full Chrome browser!

      Facebook in general seems to struggle a bit with all the pictures real time updates etc

  • artesea

    Was pleased to see they finally introduced Coarse Location so it no longer kicks the GPS on everytime you open the app.
    However this evening after the first 10 items in the news feed, the rest all dated back to the 17th!
    Let’s hope they start from the ground up.

  • Angie Wimberly

    Good! The main thing that bothers me is how it doesn’t always save my place in the News Feed. Lots of times it refreshes it when I go to it and I have to scroll a ways to find where I was.

    Videos also don’t work well. Sometimes it lets me watch them, sometimes not and usually when I try to comment on one it “crashes” and takes me to a refreshed News Feed.

    Anyway, glad they’re paying attention now!

  • Mix

    This is a great idea!

    I actually delete FB off my iPhone as it was too much of a hastle to use and so damn slow.

    • Mix

      I meant iPod, the wife owns the iPhone :/

    • Tonya Harding

      I deleted it too and switched to google+
      Much better and faster now, because g+ is a wasteland and i dont have friends anyways
      (since my attack on Nancy)….

  • killrgummibear

    what the deal with these trolls on here?

    • Mix

      I guess the iPhone is so efficient that its users have ample time in their day to waste on spamming and trolling threads.

  • BigCiX

    Maybe they might step it up

  • Homncruse

    Most of the time, I’d rather eat actual dogfood than use the official Facebook app. Maybe the developers will start to feel the same way.

  • Max.Steel

    A&Me needs to do something about these trolls. It’s getting out of control. The same guy posting under different names always praising iPhones on every article.

    • Dustin Earley

      What do you suggest?

      • Homncruse

        I say use the ranking system to your advantage. Allow a “report” button on posts, and weight the reports based on the rank of the reporter. Once a threshold is met, either hide the post or flag to an admin to review the user (and/or IP, if the user posts anonymously).

        • Homncruse

          Additionally, since higher ranks would have higher power, provide transparency: if I report a post, go ahead and note it for all to see, and allow that report to be upvoted/downvoted (which might get a little hairy with recursion) in a way that also affects my rank, so that if I start to abuse my power, I lose it.

          • Homncruse

            Ironic that I’m being downvoted without transparency…

      • Reidy

        I know this is ironic.. but removing the ability to post without signing up would be a great way to keep track of registrations and ban you wouldnt get so many spammy accounts.
        Make everyone register basically :)

        • Bpear96

          I’m sorry, but how is that ironic?

          • Homncruse

            Because he’s not registered.

    • clocinnorcal

      I like the trolls. The fact that they come here to comment shows how strong the Android community is. It must really burn these guys pants to know that Android is the dominant OS in the world. Or maybe they just feel like helping keep Stevie J’s promise to Android alive.

  • masterpfa

    By FaceBook admitting that their mobile app has been absolute CACK they have opened the way for being sued.

    So fellow Android and iOS users, let us put past feelings aside and unite against the FB devs

    This is an experience that we all, should never have been exposed too and had it not been for the likes of Seesmic, TweekDeck, Flipboard for FaceBook updates/experience or G+ for an entirely different overall Social media experience, many would have been lost along the way

  • Mason

    It’s a start, but I’d rather hear that they are actually planning to rewrite the Android app from scratch too using all of the correct Android APIs and actually testing it this time. I already switched to Friendcaster and paid money for it because the official app sucks so bad.

  • DroidPower

    if the FB developers have to be forced to use the Android app in order to know how bad their product is, does that mean the developers originally never fully tested the android app before pushing it out?!!!! Either that or FB is losing Android development talent…

  • Squeaks

    So, lemme get this straight. They never tested this software on a physical Android device?

  • jamal adam

    This is good news coming from Facebook. I feel that it should not have to come to forcing devs to use their own apps. I think that as devs they should be developing apps that they would use themselves, whether it be on Android, iOS, or whatever. But I do like the initiate that Facebook is taking to better make our experience better.

  • jmon

    facebook has some lousy developers if they dont even test on android or on all possible devices. just because they dont like or have android doesnt mean no one uses it.

  • Eric

    I’ve never seemed to have any major complaints with Facebook for Android. Was it really that bad and I just never noticed? Lol

  • Droidfan

    No wonder FB stock value us dropping like a rock.

  • alexanderharri3

    Maybe in a few months this will lead to a native, decent Android app.

  • Apple

    Watch this!

    • clocinnorcal

      XD, freakin hilarious!

  • Nathan D.

    Finally maybe they will learn a thing or two from this.

  • DroidRoca!

    This is the same method I use when someone does not know how good drinking beer is…to the point where the say…ok I get it

  • mcgerk

    I can’t even update my site’s status, which forces me to use a laptop instead. I also can’t upload any photos at all. I mean, who developes crappy apps like this?

  • droilfade

    Hehehehe…I can picture a FB employee cringing while his pic has been uploading for the last two hours…Suffer you developer, suffer! :p


    Based on my personal experience, FB apps needs improvements on Android and IOS. I didnt know it was as bad as some of the comments have said tho.

  • dVyper

    While the Android app isn’t perfect, it’s improved significantly over the years. I used to have to use the mobile site because of how slow the native app was but it’s not so bad now…

  • redraider133

    Good I am glad. Both the IOS and android apps sucked and now that the IOS app is a little better hopefully they can do the same for the android app.

  • Tim Cook


  • txbluesman

    Wow! It’s about time. The Facebook App for Android Sucks! They finally figured out that they should try using it? Maybe it’s time to hire some new developers. Talk about being behind the 8 ball.

  • Steve

    Well the old Facebook on android works better than the newer version.. always the new one very buggy…

    And IOS isn’t much better… It rarely works either.

  • msgnyc

    I know this us supposed to be good news and all…. but it kind of makes it look like using Android is a bad thing.

    “Your work sucks so until you get you sh*t together your punishment is that you have to use an Android phone”……..


  • Kelly

    I just got a recent FB update on my Android devices, and it’s a mess. I’m seeing a fairly consistent stream of Finalizer-related stack traces on the log. I noticed it is also marked as “Debuggable” when I look at a given device in DDMS. It’s also still slow. Kind of bush-league, if you ask me.

  • Leo Young

    My phone is usually my only computer. I am at the library typing this in. I would really appreciate FB updating their app. The idea of forcing FB staff to use the app is, in my humble opinion, the fastest way to get an improvement in the experience. I wonder how long it will take.

    I’m waiting . . .

    Don’t think I will hold my breath.

  • wirpo032

    Oh I just love that!

  • jswenson3

    Dear FB employees – i hope you enjoy your dogfood.

    Sincerly Android

  • Inamati

    I call it an eye opener. Most of us when we mess up in work or life we have to live with it. I would also create mandatory facebook app using non paid hours after the regular work day just to make sure they got the message.

  • Finn Kempers

    Oh thank hell, this should speed my life up majorly. This is why I’ve been other social platforms or the Messenger, simply because the Facebook app is so crap. It feels lunky like an alpha of something. Always has for me :(

  • klcow92

    :D expect better FB apps for android soon

  • Bluebriz

    Fat lot of good this has done, the app is still astonishingly bad.

  • Dave

    Enjoy the openness of Android! Where everything is crappy unless you code it or customize it yourself.

    Better solution: ditch Android support and focus on iOS

  • Android sucks

    Android sucks. Jk, I miss my samsung charge. It was a hardworking flash accepting machine.