Facebook accused of deliberately crashing its Android app as part of Google dependency test

By midian182 ยท 18 replies
Jan 5, 2016
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  1. Even though Google and Facebook are competitors, the social media giant’s Android products are a big part of the Google Play store, with the Messenger and Facebook apps consistently in the top five applications chart. But with Zuckerberg’s company offering an increasing number of services that compete with Google, what would happen if the Alphabet-owned firm decided it was sick of Facebook stepping on its toes and removed the firm’s apps from its store?

    According to a report by The Information, Facebook has been secretly preparing for this scenario for years, and has contingency measures in place that will allow its apps to operate on Android smartphones without having to go through the Google Play store.

    The report states that Facebook has been looking at ways to replicate the services you get from its Google Play-enabled apps, such as updates and in-app purchases. It’s also been looking at alternatives to Google maps for location info.

    It’s even alleged that Facebook went so far as to perform yet another experiment on its customers by testing Android users’ dependency on the app. Reportedly, the company knowingly introduced glitches that would deliberately crash its applications (for long periods of time) to see whether or not people would use the social media site if they were unable to access it via the native app on Google’s platform. As it turns out, people simply ended up using the mobile web version of the site, rather than stop using Facebook altogether.

    Facebook faced a massive backlash last year after it was revealed the company had conducted secret psychological tests on nearly 700,000 users in 2012. These latest revelations of more experiments have resulted in similar criticism from users. Former Facebook data scientist JJ Maxwell defended the tests to The Verge, saying it was the company’s “prerogative” and likened it to Walmart removing parking from their store to test the effect of varying levels of parking on sales.

    For all Facebook’s experiments and backup plans, the company’s relationship with Google has never been stronger. Should that suddenly change, however, then Facebook looks like it’ll be ready.

    Permalink to story.

  2. alabama man

    alabama man TS Maniac Posts: 351   +209

    I just want a android phone that doesn't have anything related to facebook installed and that I can permanently say no to all things facebook. Almost all apps request my non existent facebook profile and in worst cases not having one makes the app unusable.
  3. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,269

    I'm an Android user allergic to social networking yet I've never encountered an instance of any app wanting access to my non existent FB account then getting all sulky when it doesn't. I suppose it depends on the particular app.
  4. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,259   +879

    Probably if you stop using social apps altogether that won't be a problem... easier said than done though.
    p51d007 likes this.
  5. Sniped_Ash

    Sniped_Ash TS Maniac Posts: 253   +108

    Oh is that why the Facebook app for Android was a colossal piece of crap that I uninstalled and never used again and haven't bothered to get after switching to an iPhone?
  6. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,255   +614

    I wouldn't install the FB app for anything. On the times I check FB during the day, I just use the mobile version of their website. I don't need a silly app, reminding me every time someone posts a photo or meme of something.
  7. CaptainTom

    CaptainTom TS Maniac Posts: 282   +121

    I will never understand people that choose to hide from Social Networking apps. Nothing is forcing you to constantly use it, but it is incredibly useful for keeping in touch and talking to people. Imo it would be like ignoring the telephone because "It is less personal than writing a letter".
  8. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,754   +2,429

    Well Cap, I never ignore the telephone for that reason. I ignore it because more often than not, it's some a**h*** trying to sell me something. Not to mention the fact I normally have it unplugged.... I guess I'm a prime candidate for not even bothering to download the Facebook app.

    Or maybe I should join the fold and get a Facebook account. On my page, which of course will be private, I'll just tell everybody to piss off.

    Have you ever wondered how many of your Facebook "friends", will come and wipe you backside for you when you're too old to do it yourself? :oops:
  9. Carmaine

    Carmaine TS Enthusiast Posts: 36   +11

    No, you are stupid. I will join the many techies on this forum and say I also don't use Facebook because I have no friends, don't care to know how my family across the world is doing, not OK with displaying personal info(even though I know most credit card companies knows what boxer brief colors I'm wearing right now) and refuse to have any kind of social interaction with people online on a weekly basis, which is impossible if you have a Facebook account. I laugh at those people and tell them to get a life.

    Oh and BTW, I know it doesn't mean much, but I'm 46, male, overweight, single, watch henta|, play COD when I'm not watching henta|, memorized every word in the whole Star Wars movies and a die hard Netflix dude........without the "chill" sadly. But still.....screw Facebook.
  10. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,269

    I don't hide from social networking, it's just useless to me. I use a messenger apps like WhatsApp and Viber to keep in touch with family and people I personally know.
    I have as much use for FB and and other social media as a non smoker would have for an ashtray on a motorbike.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2016
  11. warzkaz

    warzkaz TS Rookie

    I am so glad I deactivated my Facebook account
  12. RebelFlag

    RebelFlag TS Addict Posts: 147   +78

    The best facebook app is called FaceBook Lite. In the US you cannot get it from the appstore, you have to search for and download the .apk I replaced the regular FB app with the Lite app, and my battery life doubled.
  13. I don't hide from social networking either, but I use none of it with the exception of TechSpot (on my desktop PC). I just have zero interest in it.
    When I am a pedestrian, taking public transit and even on bike rides I keep seeing virtually everyone staring into these devices like their life depended on it (look up Garmin bicycle computers if you don't understand the bike reference). I feel like I'm living in the world of the Invasion of the Body Snatchers and the sign of the infection is to relentlessly stare into that device and have your ears plugged into it. It's really sad when I see couples walking side by side or in a pub or restaurant....and they are both staring into their smartphones.
    learninmypc likes this.
  14. Camikazi

    Camikazi TS Evangelist Posts: 923   +283

    So you actually think you need social networking apps or you will become lonely and never know what is going on with people? Damn, I guess I am a god because I know what is going on with my friends and I don't use any social networking apps (only have an FB account for some games that save on their cloud). I keep up with my friends and family very well without the use of these apps, which I will never use anyway, in the end they just end up taking up space on my phone and doing nothing while most likely trying to watch everything I do.
    Skidmarksdeluxe likes this.
  15. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,255   +614

    I don't even bother with these yahoo/google/facebook/company abc
    apps. I either just use their website, or use their mobile sites, usually m.facebook.com
    The narcissistic nature of kids & young adults these days, they can't go 2 seconds without
    being connected to their (so called) friends. It amazes me walking around a college campus
    in between class. They have these things clutched into their hands worse than a junkie has a
    crack pipe!
  16. Forebode

    Forebode TS Booster Posts: 122   +17

    In response to the article: So what? You'd do the same thing in their position. You can't theory-craft everything all the time, eventually you'll need to do practical tests. As far as the psychological tests, don't apologize.
  17. CaptainTom

    CaptainTom TS Maniac Posts: 282   +121

    Yeah because that's what I said genius. *Sarcasm*

    It makes things easier. I don't need Facebook, and in fact I don't even need the internet or phones at all to keep track of my family/friends - but man'oh'man it makes it a lot easier.
  18. CaptainTom

    CaptainTom TS Maniac Posts: 282   +121

    I do think SOME people stay glued to their phone too much, but seriously? Crack? Yeah you are so much better than everyone else. I just realized how amazing you are.
  19. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Posts: 7,476   +376

    I think its funny when I'm walking thru a store & somebody walks into me & starts ranting & screaming at me because they were too busy texting/chatting/talking to somebody. Once they realize the closed circuit security camera caught them, they get in trouble,not me. :) :)
    95% of the friends I have on fb I DO know personally. :)

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