Facebook is the world’s most popular social media service. It boasts over 37,000 employees and 2.38 billion monthly active users. It also has a decent collection of apps and they all do various things. The collection changes, but they all let you interact with Facebook in various ways. Here are all of the Facebook apps and what they do.
We would like to make a small point of clarification. There are many Facebook products that exist within existing Facebook apps. For instance, Facebook videos, Facebook Marketplace, and Facebook Dating all exist within the regular Facebook app and are not separate products. It’s a little confusing but you should have access to all consumer-facing Facebook features with the apps below.
Facebook and Facebook Lite
Facebook and Facebook Lite represent the face of the social media site. You can interact with friends, check notifications, see events, watch videos, and do all of the normal Facebook stuff. The regular version has more graphics and more features while Facebook Lite focuses on working better on lower end phones with less data. If you like Facebook but hate the official app, we recommend trying the Lite version to see if it works better for you.
Facebook Messenger, Messenger Lite, and Messenger Kids
There are three Facebook apps for its Messenger service. The first is the standard Facebook Messenger app. It comes with all of the features, including the legendary chat heads functionality. Facebook Lite scales back the features to work better on lower end phones with less data usage. Finally, Facebook Kids is Facebook’s service specifically for minors with heavy parental supervision and oversight. There are whispers that Messenger is headed back to the main Facebook app so these apps may not exist forever.
Facebook Pages Manager
Facebook Pages Manager is, well, an app for managing pages on Facebook. It’s useful for interacting with your followers, checking page notifications, seeing analytics about your page, and even responding to messages. The main Facebook app recommends downloading this if you even try to manage your page from the main Facebook app. It is a bit buggy according to Google Play reviews, but it works most of the time for most things.
Facebook Ads Manager
Price: Free / Varies
Facebook Ads Manager is an enterprise app for business use. It lets businesses keep track of their ad expenditures, ad performance, and other related analytics. It also has tips and tricks on improving ad performance as well as an editor to create new ads. This is one of the few Facebook apps that costs money because you have to buy ad space, obviously. This one has even more bugs than Facebook Page Manager, though, so make sure you double check with the website every now and then.
Facebook Analytics kind of rests between Page Manager and Ad Manager. It shows you a variety of stats like the manager apps do. However, it also shows you some analytics that the other two apps don’t have. You can check out conversion rates for your ads, create all kinds of visualizations such as graphs and charts, and get notifications when something significant changes. It doesn’t let you directly manage anything, so it’s mostly for information purposes.
Facebook Local is a discovery app for local stuff. You log in and it shows you points of interest around your area, recommendations for things like events and restaurants, and guides created by people on the service. It also includes notifications for future events that might interest you. This is another app that Facebook doesn’t work on much so it’s also quite buggy for many folks.
Free Basics by Facebook
Free Basics by Facebook is something entirely different from the rest of this list. It actually lets you connect to the Internet for free on Facebook’s dime. All you need is a phone and a compatible SIM card. It offers free access to a number of websites, including Facebook itself, AccuWeather, BBC News, BabyCenter & MAMA, UNICEF, Dictionary.com, and many others. There are some ethical questions about Facebook providing Internet and dictating where people can and cannot go. However, for now, it’s a small initiative from Facebook’s Internet.org and it’s only available to a small number of people. Discover from Facebook is another app in this venture that does more or less the same thing. You can check out either one.
Portal from Facebook
Portal from Facebook is a video calling device with Amazon Alexa built-in. This app helps control that device. You use it to set up the device and you can use it to call the device from your phone. There isn’t much else with this one. You’ve likely used apps like Google Home, Amazon Alexa, or other apps to control hardware. This one works a lot like those. The device costs $129, but the app is free at least. There is no reason to use this at all unless you buy the device.
Study from Facebook
Study from Facebook is an exclusive app for those in the Facebook Study program. It lets people answer questions and use the app for the sake of market research. It collects data like the apps installed on your phone, the time you spend in each app, where you are, and some additional info. Thus, Facebook hopes to learn more information about how people use apps and how often. You can only use this app if you are in the program.
Workplace by Facebook
Price: Free / $3 per active user per month
Workplace by Facebook is Facebook’s answer to G Suite and similar services. It lets businesses and its employees communicate with one another with their own private little Facebook spaces. Some of the features include text, voice, and video calls, groups, file uploads, and more. The Workplace Chat is a separate app in the ecosystem. This is something your work either uses or doesn’t and it doesn’t really make any sense to use it unless you’re a business entity. There is a scaled down free version with a full-featured enterprise version that costs $3 per person per month of service.
Facebook Viewpoints is like Facebook’s version of Google Opinion Rewards. You download the app, sign up, and then answer survey questions. Facebook uses those answers to, in their words, provide better services while you get a small bundle of points. Those points are usable for various prizes over the long term. The app still has some bugs, particularly when redeeming points, so you may want to wait until those get ironed out before giving this one a try.
Instagram and Whatsapp
Instagram and WhatsApp are two more Facebook apps that don’t carry the Facebook name nor do they exist under the Facebook developer account on Google Play. You know these apps already. Instagram is a photo sharing social media service and WhatsApp is a messenger service. Most of the above apps, such as Page Manager and Ads Manager, also work with Instagram accounts. WhatsApp is the world’s most popular messaging platform. Instagram has a side app called Threads from Instagram that works a lot like Instagram but on a more personal scale. These are technically Facebook apps, but they generally workout outside of Facebook’s ecosystem as separate entities. Still, we list them here for the sake of completeness.
Creator Studio is one of the newer Facebook apps, comparatively speaking. It’s for folks who do video on Facebook and do it more than just the occasional upload. It lets creators see things like all of their uploads, some viewer metrics, and you can do things like schedule posts and upload new ones. Unfortunately, the web version is much better than the app version and Facebook still has a bunch of issues to work out. It’s probably not a great option for creators right now, but it might be someday in the future.
Facebook Gaming is the official app for the gaming section of Facebook’s video collection. It features standard video content but the focus with this one is live streaming. Facebook Gaming represents Facebook’s competition with Twitch and YouTube for that space. It was fairly innocuous until mid 2020 when Microsoft’s Mixer shut down and integrated into Facebook Gaming. This might actually be a bigger deal someday. For now, the app requires your personal Facebook account and some folks don’t like that. Additionally, the app is quite buggy. Still, keep an eye out for this one.
If we missed any big Facebook apps, tell us about them in the comments! You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists!