There is life after Facebook: these are the best Facebook app alternatives

by: Kris CarlonFebruary 5, 2016
2.4K

Facebook app uninstall

Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting anything as earth-shattering as quitting Facebook. Just quitting the official Facebook app. Among tech aficionados, the Facebook app is the one app you would never put on a new device because of how bloated and resource-hungry it is, but there are plenty of folks out there that do have it installed. However, a recent ground-swell of anti-Facebook sentiment is seeing more and more people try life without the official app, and liking what they see.

best facebook apps for androidSee also: 9 best Facebook apps for Android36

The main things Facebook is accused of doing is taking up too much space (the official app is 40 MB), consuming too much RAM, causing persistent wakelocks, background processes draining battery and generally being the root of all evil. There’s surprisingly little factual evidence around for all these claims, but there is certainly no shortage of anecdotal evidence that Facebook is the primary cause of a sluggish Android experience. For every one of these claims there’s usually another that states uninstalling the app leads to near-instantaneous performance improvements.

Whether you find your system performance to be so bad that something must be done, you simply want a faster and more streamlined Facebook experience or you just want to know the truth for yourself, there’s certainly no harm in uninstalling Facebook for a while.

Facebook_Facebook_Lite_battery_usage

Facebook app alternatives

The first thing you’re going to need to do is find yourself a Facebook app alternative. Assuming the main reasons you uninstalled Facebook was to kill its battery-draining, background process-using, resource-chewing habits, then you’re probably going to want something lighter, leaner and faster. Considering how bad the Facebook app is, that isn’t very hard to do. Fortunately, it’s not that hard to find an equivalent Facebook experience elsewhere.

Google Play is full of alternative Facebook apps, but in all honesty, most of them are not very good. I’ve tried pretty much all of them and generally return to the same three or four solutions, which I’ll list for you below. The good news about all of these is that none of them auto-play video ads in your stream either.


Google Chrome best Android web browsersGoogle Chrome

[Price: Free]

Using a Google Chrome “web view” shortcut is probably the lightest and fastest option around. Since September last year, when you sign into Facebook in Chrome, you’ll see a popup requesting permission to let Chrome send you Facebook notifications. Saying yes to this request means that you can now get Facebook push notifications via the browser, making the Facebook app redundant.

Simply open Facebook in Chrome on your device and log in. When the Chrome request appears at the bottom of the screen, tap Allow. Now, tap the Chrome overflow menu button and tap Add to Home screen. You’ll get an admittedly large Facebook icon added to your home screen that will take you straight to your web version of Facebook in Chrome and you’ll still get push notifications like normal.

Get it now on Google Play!

Chrome browser Facebook web view shortcut


Metal_for_Facebook_iconMetal for Facebook and Twitter

[Price: Free]

Metal is one of the few Facebook alternative apps I’d recommend. The best thing is it works for both Facebook and Twitter, so you can kill two birds with one stone. Metal is a web wrapper app, meaning that it isn’t so much of an app itself as a skin for the web version of Facebook.

Like the Chrome solution above, Metal can also send you push notifications but it improves on the Chrome fix by adding a huge array of extras. Metal including various themes, a floating mini app-window for FB updates on the fly, a navigation drawer, Twitter support, fingerprint access, interface options (like full screen mode and fixed toolbar while scrolling), proxies, pinned pages for a custom shortcut menu, floating action button and forced mobile or desktop site view. It’s pretty brilliant.

Get it now on Google Play!

Metal for Facebook main nav bar


Tinfoil for Facebook appsTinfoil for Facebook

[Price: Free]
If Metal sounds all a bit too complicated, the old dinosaur of Facebook alternative apps is Tinfoil for Facebook. Again, Tinfoil for Facebook is just a web wrapper app, but it’s super fast and has its own handy navigation drawer and shortcuts. It’s nowhere near as feature-packed as Metal, but it is even smaller and faster.

Tinfoil doesn’t sync in the background, use any more resources than the Chrome shortcut or cache data, so it’s very battery and system friendly. Tinfoil doesn’t include push notifications though, but you can simply use Chrome notifications to keep up to date or install IF by IFTTT and add the Facebook notifications recipe. You’ll just need to go to your Facebook notifications settings page on a computer and grab your RSS feed URL so you can plug it into the IF recipe.

Get it now on Google Play!

Tinfoil for Facebook main nav preferences


facebook lite best new Android apps and gamesFacebook Lite

[Price: Free]

If you like the main Facebook app but can’t put up with its battery-draining, performance killing nature anymore, you could also try Facebook lite. If you haven’t heard about it, Facebook Lite is an official Facebook app originally designed for markets where fast-flowing internet connections are not always available. But folks anywhere can use it as a faster, leaner alternative to Facebook that consumes less data and requires less system resources to run.

Facebook Lite offers a similar, if pared down, experience to the main Facebook app, but it is much, much smaller: just half a MB compared to 40 MB for the normal app. Facebook Lite also has native push notifications and chat, so there’s no need to keep Facebook’s Messenger app installed if you take this option. Unless you’re in a supported market you can’t search for Facebook Lite in Google Play, but you can get it via the Play Store link below.

Get it now on Google Play!

Facebook Lite main menu settings


Have you tried the “no Facebook app” challenge? How do you access Facebook?

  • Diego Opazo SV-Cross

    But you can always use G+.

    • Zombie

      Better alone than in bad company!

      • Diego Opazo SV-Cross

        I can always rely on Tumblr…

    • Eleazar Parham

      I’ve started using G+ and twitter

      • Diego Opazo SV-Cross

        Good for you!

  • EQ

    How about official Facebook app with updates takes around 300MB on storage, uses roughly 90MB of RAM when idle (Facebook + their video service that is constantly running in the background once you use FB), intrusive use of gathering information on your system which creates wakelocks and conflicts with subsystems and kernel and as such can even make your phone reboot. Metal is my recommendation which also supports for notifications and has pretty much no permissions.

    • Winston Purnomo

      I don’t care about much of the complaints, but when you eat into my battery you’ve got yourself a one-way ticket to disabled land (Samsung bundles FB, so I can’t uninstall it).

      And Metal also stands as my recommendation as well.

      • bOgGaRt

        You can… with Package Disabler Pro. You don’t need to be rooted either!

        • Winston Purnomo

          Already did! Still not a full uninstall though.

        • patt

          block not remove it.

      • xoj_21

        u can uninstall it, just root it

      • Zeuszoos

        How about (Pro versions) “Fast for Facebook Pro”, or “Folio Pro”, or “Swipe Pro” (Swipe requires Chrome for opening web pages within the app).

    • Nick

      And that’s why the first thing I did when I bought my S6 was disable Facebook app lol

  • WAusJackBauer

    Added it to my wishlist through the link and then tried to download it on my phone.

    Not available in my country (Australia)

    • ccsvchost

      I’m in Australia as well, all I did was search for the apk and installed it. Works without root (y)

      • WAusJackBauer

        When newer versions come out will you have to manually update date it or do you think it’ll update through the play store on your phone?

        Also could you please link me where you got it from?

  • ‘Marek Hrnčiarik

    Folio for Facebook is even better than Tinfoil, which havent been updated for a year now.

  • sithishs

    I’ve tried uninstalling FB a couple of times over the years and never really noticed that big of an improvement in battery life.

  • I’ll take your word for it that these apps address the technical problems with Facebook. The larger cultural and psychological problems, however, persist. I’ve recently left the cesspool that is Twitter and I’m thinking Facebook will not be that far behind.

  • T.J.

    I haven’t had the app installed in years.

  • Achyutam

    On my device the app uses anywhere around 300-500mb of storage(app uses around 200-300mb and the rest data). Let’s hope fb lite works well for me.

    • yes Fb lite working awesome dude, its storage size is only 4.57mb.

  • John Kats

    I remove them all cause even fb lite was second in my drain apps so now im using only messenger and check the fb site only from chrome!

  • Facebook lite is best option available, its also save our data pack.

    • EngineerGunter

      But it’s “not available in [my] country” 😠

      • Thomas Lorinczi

        search on apkmirror

  • Densmac

    …or you can just greenify it with Greenify, and automate the process by Tasker, you need root, but no more background processes or battery drains while still getting instant notifications. Works very well on my lg g3.

  • McLaren F1P1

    FB Lite as it’s reliable and efficient and using it for months now! My second option when I have some time is FB through Chrome!

  • Roby

    Gave their app a 1 star review for draining my battery like crazy. Using the website now.
    Btw, Opera mini can also be used for delivering fb notifications without any impact on battery life.

  • Andrew M

    I don’t seem to have access to download and install the lite version. I have heard that it’s not available in the US. Anyone know of a work around in order to get it installed?

    • Bravo Alpha

      Yes, you have to download the apk file from APKmirror website. After you’ve downloaded it to your phone, find it using whatever file explorer you use and click on it. it’ll then prompt you thru the install.

  • interista93

    Do this last year. Less time on fb, more battery life for the phone, and google chrome or opera browser do this job just fine. Only i am not sure if opera have push notification.

  • Chris Verhulst

    I use the chrome browser, and it works well. My batterylife is better now on my Moto E second generetion. I use it now for 4 days i guess? I must did it from day one. ( i have my phone sinds 12 January this year)

  • Kunal Goel

    I’ve been using either chrome or lite since it launched and highly recommend them

  • Jamal

    I usually access facebook through website and I am not using it’s official app because it is waste of memory.

    • Sherpa

      And battery.

  • RotorHard

    Hermit is also a great wrapper like Metal

  • sk’p

    Erm, no mention for Folio? Damn, that’s as good as the Metal. Another one, Mavi.

  • I’m using Folio for Facebook, which looks identical to Metal for Facebook.

  • Curtice Morris

    Tried to install Facebook Lite, but is not compatible with any of my devices, which are a LG G3, LG Volt, and Samsung Galaxy Tab 2.

  • s2weden2000

    Facebook lite..not available in your country…

    • Rob King

      You download it from APKMirror.

      • s2weden2000

        You do that …

  • jrod3737

    You could also just realize that Facebook notifications have never, not even once, made your life better in any way. So turn them off. Once you do that then Tinfoil is totally the best option.

    • Thiago H

      You’re absolutely right!

  • Takis

    SLIM SOCIAL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Bobby Phoenix

    I have it installed, but it used next to zero resources/battery. I’m on 6.0, and I’m able to go into app permissions, and disable everything if I want. The only thing I have enabled is storage because I like to download/save pictures here and there. Other than that everything is off. Even after two days of battery stats FB barely registers, and that’s only because I used it.

    • Same, the 6.0 permissions manager has been a life saver.

    • Mohamed Salim

      I know 6.0 is great I have it on my moto x 2014 and Facebook does not eat into my battery its the storage size that I hate it 200 mb for a small app like how is that possible

  • Lula Jardim

    When i had a galaxy S3 three and a half years ago, I was always so pissed that the phone was so slow.
    The phone improved a lot after I decided to uninstall the Facebook app. Sure it was still very slow due to that sh**ty TouchWiz rom, but everytime i switch phones I try using the official app again only to uninstall it again a couple of days later.

    Life is so much better without the Facebook app.

  • Ivan B.

    @Kris Carlon, where did you get that awsome wallpaper?

  • Saurav Shah

    Well I am using the first alternative, ie Google Chrome from past 1 year. Only functionality I miss is the option to save pictures compared to normal FB app.

  • Berkay

    Folio for Facebook is the best

  • Andrew Derthick

    Part of the problem is people buy crappy phones. I’m running the one plus one which specs are mid range now these days. 1.5gb is the top amount I ever use on ram. Normally sitting 1gb (facebook being 250ish mb at top)

    Storage? If people stop buying these really bad phones from Walmart for $50 and get a decent one like moto g or Blu life one x for a bit more… Its not bad. I’m running a 64gb model and I only use 10gb (i stream all music thanks to tmobile, photos are automatically uploaded to dropbox on wifi so I don’t keep but a few on there)

    Battery might be the only legit complaint there. Luckily my one plus one has 3100 milli amp battery and Cyanogen only helps there (plus the 12,000 milli amp battery I keep with me).
    People need to talk to the companies and tell them. Post it to them on facebook, tweet them, email them.

    • Mohamed Salim

      I know right I bought a decent phone with 2 gb of ram and 32 gb of storage my phone never lagged not even once since I bought it also I cost 400 if you buy it not on a contract which I did

    • Jeansen

      So either I just have too many apps open at the same time or my phone is damaged, because it seemed to me when Facebook is open for too long, my phone starts lagging and I have to close all 40+apps :/ but when Facebook isn’t open to begin with I can have even more apps open and everything is alright. BTW I have the one plus one 64gb too.

  • J

    tried the Metal app both removed twitter and fb and it was great

  • Gregory Tschirhart

    Yeah! The Facebook app pretty much took over my phone. Once I dismantled the application, boom!! Huge difference. Wished I had done it sooner. I still use Facebook, I just enter either through notification or through my browser. I’m happy 😊 without it.

  • Sandeep !!

    The Official Facebook app was constantly crashing and lagging down the system on my Asus Zenfone 2 so switched to Metal. One my previous phone Moto E, I was using Tinfoil coz on limited internal memory on Moto E, installing/updating FB was a nightmare.

  • Stephen Ezrock Herceg

    Chrome works just great for me. This also allows me to post photo comments :-)

  • Angie Jones

    I’m using Facebook on Chrome, and I’ve noticed that it’s not a system hog, and my battery life is way better! :)

  • If you have to use the website, then better use chrome or another browser which is DESIGNED to show webpages with efficiency and performance. An app which is only designed to show a single website is, in my opinion, more likely to jerk and show non satisfying behavior.

  • GMB

    app called Folio?

  • Sakib Mahmud

    Great article, thank you! Even with people who owns a high end phone like me hates it, why cause much bother when you’re of small use!

  • Artemis Vali

    swipe is pretty cool also! and i think is the best!

  • Waleed Khalid

    Nice help.. Thanks alot

  • NicoleminCT

    There needs to be a Facebook alternative social networking site where people actually have free speech.