Facebook Came To Africa To Improve Its Android App

It’s been a while since I was on Facebook but if there’s anything I remember about the Android app, it’s that it was data and resource intensive. Data especially. Data plans being ridiculously expensive and all, I often resorted to Opera Mini to access Facebook. My experience is similar with largely everyone else’s on the continent.

Facebook is finally aware of this. Which is why they sent a team of engineers to the Africa to come and experience Facebook the way we do. Carrying out their tests on standard low end Android phones, they soon discovered performance was subpar in comparison with what they were used to on high end devices. And with usage they considered “normal”, they were depleting monthly data allowances in as little as 40 minutes! Talk about being in our shoes.

So what did they do about it. They set out to optimize the Facebook app accordingly – switching PNG for Google’s WebP image format, delayed feature initializations, improved offline caching and stripping down unnecessary features for specific device classes, among other things. The end result is an Android app that promises to be faster, lighter and far less data intensive.

You can read the full story here

Photo Credit: Johan Larsson via Compfight cc

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