Home Tech Facebook To Upgrade Its Android App To Harvest More Users In Africa

Facebook To Upgrade Its Android App To Harvest More Users In Africa

by Caroline Vutagwa
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Facebook wants to ensure that every person, regardless of where you are and the cost of the data in your country, has access to the social media site. It is looking to offer the best experience on mobile with the added benefit of less data usage with its android on the Google Play Store.

It is possible that other countries have cheapest mobile data while others are way expensive. so you will find customers fleeing from data intensive applications to cut the cost of their monthly mobile phone bill so face book wants to fix this once and for all by making an app that doesn’t use as much data.

Facebook is looking at harvesting 5 billion more users to the network adding to the one billion it already has; through this initiative they want to embark on. This will especially impact emerging markets where smartphone devices are not a popular choice and data plans are rather costly.

The modifications to the Facebook app follow a series of tests by the Facebook team in Africa, using different Android handsets.
Facebook engineer Alex Sourov said: “The combination of an intermittent, low-bandwidth network connection and a lack of memory space on the devices resulted in slow load times and constant crashes. We even burned through our monthly data plans in 40 minutes.”

To improve data efficiency, Facebook modified image compression and loading process for basic Android phones. This lead to the company using 50 percent less data using the app, which will ultimately help users in emerging markets. Facebook also lowered the size of its Android app by roughly around 65 percent, which will ultimately help users save on storage space.

“The lessons learned have already impacted the development of new features. We test all major features and changes in poor networking scenarios,” Sourov added. “We have automated verification for various performance and efficiency characteristics, which allows the features team to receive immediate feedback on the impact of their code. We also expanded our playbook to other apps, such as Messenger and Instagram.”

The updated Facebook app for Android is available for download on Google Play Store.

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