Facebook turns to Reddit for Android app help

Reddit may seem like an unusual place to ask for help with developing an application, but when it is an application with over one hundred million downloads, it is something to take note of. A Reddit post invites developers from within the community to contribute ideas and code, as Neowin member Hollow.Droid tipped us.

The approach taken by Facebook invites users to post a single bug in a comment, meaning that the bug priority can be voted up or down depending on its importance and frequency. While this system has not been pioneered on Reddit (similar functionality exists on GetSatisfaction and other services), it likely will have a much bigger audience than other specialized product forums.

At the time of writing, the post has received several hundred comments, and the Facebook developers, using the account name of "facebook_for_android" have been responsive with the comments, stating that they are working on them or they are to be dealt with in a future update of the application. The current release of Facebook for Android, 1.8, has been available for only a short period of time, and varies from the iOS app in some ways, which is unsurprising. The fact that Facebook has turned to Reddit in order to receive guidance about where next to take the Android version of their application can only be a good thing due to the large community of 'Redditors' who have shared bugs and suggestions on how to refine the application.

Among the top issues the Reddit community highlighted was the application's desire to consume battery due to a certain process called 'Katana'. Unsurprisingly, some people have been more vocal about the problems they have experienced than others, with some of the comments posted having been laced with expletives. Other complaints suggest that the app enables GPS tracking without prior explanation, with more anger being directed at this as well. This is, again, unsurprising since anonymity allows people to change their personality from behind a computer keyboard. At the same time though, with these issues being so vocally spoken about it may also drive the developers of the application to refine and tweak to fit the Android operating system even better.

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16 Comments

Given the amount of money that Facebook has, and continues to rake in on a daily basis, I'm surprised their mobile apps (and occasionally the website itself) are of such shockingly bad quality. I stopped using their official app on both iPad and Android a long time ago because it always kept crashing, locking up, etc.

Can't they just throw some money at the problem? ie. Hire some professional Android and iOS developers?

TCLN Ryster said,
Given the amount of money that Facebook has, and continues to rake in on a daily basis, I'm surprised their mobile apps (and occasionally the website itself) are of such shockingly bad quality. I stopped using their official app on both iPad and Android a long time ago because it always kept crashing, locking up, etc.

Can't they just throw some money at the problem? ie. Hire some professional Android and iOS developers?


Agreed. The odd thing is that the mobile touch version of the website works so well.

s3n4te said,
If they want a popular app, they should consult 4chan instead.

Popular /= Tons of trolling, porn, and CP.

s3n4te said,
If they want a popular app, they should consult 4chan instead.

only ones I know that use 4chan are 6th graders and middle schoolers. Few freshmen and overly geeky juniors and seniors.

CMG_90 said,

only ones I know that use 4chan are 6th graders and middle schoolers. Few freshmen and overly geeky juniors and seniors.


i dont know anyone who goes to 4chan, cause im an adult.

Dead'Soul said,
is anyone know why we dont have share function on mobile?

Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?

Thankfully the most recent update to the Android app seems to have gone some way to improving things again, but the previous update was unbelievable.. you couldn't actually "click" on links 90% of the time and had to sit there jabbing at them hoping it'd click through. It was atrocious. I don't see how it even went through any kind of QA or user testing process as it was virtually unusable!

im still using 1.5.4, its the last version b4 they absolutly broke everything and the app has just gone down the ******

I use Friendcaster. much better. Sure it may have some issues like with the recent update but the updates are fixed pretty quicky.

GPS is the biggest issue I've seen. It's hard-coded to use GPS, even if a device doesn't have GPS (or you don't want it using GPS). No GPS? The app crashes. BRILLIANT design!

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