Report: Facebook has plans in place if Google kicks it off the Play Store

by: Bogdan PetrovanJanuary 4, 2016


facebook angry Wired

A new report sheds light on Facebook’s doomsday scenario: getting kicked off the Play Store.

The Information’s Amir Efrati reports that Facebook has been weighing its options in case a conflict with Google results in the removal of Facebook apps from the Play Store.

To be clear, there is no imminent threat of Facebook being excluded from Google’s app store. The relationship between Google and Facebook – the largest and most important app developer on Android – is said to be pleasant, at least on the surface.

Nevertheless, a tension reportedly exists between the two Internet giants, caused by their conflicting business imperatives. Facebook wants more freedom to implement features and is worried about its dependency on Google’s API infrastructure. Google is serving billions of notifications for Facebook and may eventually decide it wants to be remunerated for its trouble.

One measure that Facebook has reportedly considered in the eventuality of a war with Google is the creation of alternatives to Google’s cloud services, targeted at devices that are sold without Google’s stamp of approval in China and other countries. This includes the infrastructure for delivering notifications, making payments, and downloading and installing apps and updates. Facebook could even host its own app store for other developers, though according to The Information, the social company isn’t really interested in doing that.

Facebook removed its app from the Play Store for an entire country, just to see what happens.

Facebook has also struck deals with many carriers and manufacturers to have its apps pre-loaded on new devices and has even run “war games” to simulate what it would happen if users could no longer download Facebook from the Play Store.

Facebook reportedly removed its main app from the Play Store for an entire, unnamed, country, for around a week, to gauge the reaction of its user base. And, in a slightly unnerving move, the company intentionally induced errors that would make its app unusable for some users, just to see how far it could push users before they give up and stop using Facebook on mobile. Users kept using Facebook, despite of the abuse.

According to The Information, some of these measures were discussed in late 2015, so the situation is in flux. Regardless of what happens, it’s absolutely fascinating to peek inside the high-stakes cold wars going on between some of the biggest technology companies in the world.

Google Photos best android apps of 2015See also: 10 best Android apps released in 2015!35

Let us know your thoughts. Who would suffer the most if Facebook left the Play Store?

  • Nibbler

    it’s funny that they tested to see if by withholding facebook for a entire week from a entire country to see if anyone would stop using facebook. It’s like a taking a crack head’s crack away and seeing if he wont go find another way to get crack. fyi. the crack head still uses facebook.

    • Martin Lane

      Can’t they just use the browser? I don’t get this, smells like BS to me.

      It would be a little inconvenient, but like you said, the crack heads will find a way.

      • Chris

        And there’s always the apk to download elsewhere.

  • Sandeep Gunda

    Facebook vs Google! It would be interesting to see which side gains the upper hand if ever a war breaks out!

    • Chris

      There’s no war kid.

      • AbbyZFresh

        There’s a war on advertising dollars though. Which Facebook happens to be Google’s biggest rival in.

      • Sandeep Gunda

        If Google charges Facebook for notifications then there might be one! If Facebook starts providing its own cloud service for delivering notifications and making payments etc, then Google’s will lose a lot of customers

    • AbbyZFresh

      The average person spends more minutes on Facebook in a single period of time then they do on Google per day

  • Celso Rodrigues

    So they just conducted experiments on users without their permission!?

    Many people use Facebook for their businesses and other important functions. If the name of the country where they did this ever gets out they might be openning themselves up for lawsuit.

  • Robert Forslund

    I’m rather divided on the Google Plus vs. Facebook issue… On one hand I wish all those I follow on Facebook would use Google Plus instead, on the other hand, I’d also sort of want to keep the “riff-raff” out of Google Plus, haha! ^_^ I much rather use Google Plus if I were to choose between social media platforms, Google is just so much smarter and easier to work with and due to the fact that most “mainstream” people use Facebook makes Google Plus a bit more “grown up” and sensible place, at least that’s what I feel. ^_^

    • Chris

      Google plus is for nerds in their mothers basements.

      • ADofCLE

        I use Google+ daily, have my own place, with and a job. Sure I’m a nerd if you will, but I don’t live a basement. More like the top floor of a high rise. ???

        • Haha sure it is, I love Google+.

          The moment i started Google+, Facebook felt like old social media in 90’s !!
          I mean from features to modern buttersmooth UI, i just love it :D


        Facebook is for ducky lips and Kardashian wannabes

    • Dusan

      Google+ is a HUGE mess. It’s so integrated into everything that I had huge issues finding options for some stuff. It created a lot of problems for me a couple of weeks ago when I got my new phone.
      It’s messy, amateurish and completely useless. I wish it didn’t even exist.

      • Typical Apple user :|

        Nope if you are comparing it with Facebook, Google+ is far pleasing and great to use.

        The problem is people are addicted to old technologies, that they don’t even want to try out new things, thats the reason new technology take much more time to get introduced into mainstream.

  • saf1927

    A company that can’t even make a decent app for Android and iOS, doing all that? Surely they jest.

    • creep_the_night

      Meh. I quit using the app ages ago.

      I now use Metal For Facebook and Twitter.

      The fb mobile app is sh*t any way you look at it.

    • nemathsingh

      Don’t forget that they broke sharing intent on Android since 2011. Intentionally, and still haven’t fixed today.

      For your Android app to share successfully on facebook, you had to install Facebook SDK. Considering android 65k methods limit, your method count will be increased by 10k after using fbsdk. Really pain i.t.a.

      Facebook, please stop being an a**hole for Android developer.


    Well… There’s always MySpace again

    • I started using Google+ which is damn awesome and completely love it !! added it doesn’t use ads for now, and also doesn’t use fraud activities like Facebook to kill our internet by violating the net neutrality and introducing facebook free basics etc…!!

  • Alyeldin Mohamed

    I prefer twitter anyway.

    • Martin Lane

      Indeed, less BS.

      • Chris

        Right because hearing what so e dumb ass ate for lunch isn’t bs

  • Chris

    Won’t happen. Get over it people

  • Casper Casperios

    Facebook because there are so many that don’t care like me

    • AbbyZFresh

      The rest of the world doesn’t feel that way according to 1 billion daily users.

  • MiMo1986s

    i don’t give a shit about facebook ^ ^ actually it will be a nice thing ill have more free time with my family google plus is doing great with me more social with me :D

  • andrew zalecki

    I already uninstalled the Facebook app. My battery life increased. One of the best decisions I’ve made.

  • Roflsome

    Wow, so they removed the app from the store for about a week in a whole unknown country. And nobody noticed. Hmm, I’d rather see this as a red flag for Facebook’s growth…In an entire week, in an entire country, nobody gave a **** about downloading Facebook’s app. Which translates to 0 new users for Facebook in that country. The app removal didn’t affect people who already had it installed.

  • bt

    The facebook app is worse than the mobile version in my opinion so they can do what they like

  • DEEP

    you should make a video about how to delete your a/c on facebook permanently.

  • alfreduran

    I started to use Facebook in the web, more comfortable than the Facebook App (sucks the battery’s phone). Regards!