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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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