Why I hate the Android Facebook app

Why I hate the Android Facebook appI really wish I were one of those cool guys who doesn’t have a Facebook account. Indeed, in a group with my oldest friends – encompassing a lawyer and various consultants – I’m the only one who uses Facebook at all. What a loser.

But Facebook has its upsides. If I want to invite loads of people to come see my band, for example, there’s no easier way than to create a Facebook event. True story. Anyway, I’m not here to defend Facebook; I’m here to dis’ the Android app. It’s rubbish.

Essentially the Android Facebook app is a really stupidly stripped down version of the full site. Which is fine in theory, but extended use reveals all sorts of niggles.

No pokes

Ok, so poking is fairly immature at the best of times, and even more so if you live north of the border. “Poking” someone has an altogether different meaning in Scotchland. Ahem.

Anyway, poking is a great way to stay in touch with Facebook friends without making any effort. You log into Facebook, you see the poke, you poke back. What could be easier? You don’t have to compose a message or make small talk or think about it. The poke says: “Hey, I’m alive, but I can’t be bothered conversing with you at the moment.” Everybody wins.


Unless I’m missing something glaringly obvious (and let’s face it, there’s every probability that I am) it’s not possible to send your friends a private message via the Android Facebook app. You heard me.

If that is indeed the case, then that’s a pretty incredible omission. I don’t always want to share my messages with the world, especially the ones that begin: “You’ll never guess what/who I did last night.”

EDIT: Yes, it is possible. But you have to go to Messages then tap the Android Menu button (below the screen) and choose Compose. Because that’s miles easier than being able to choose Message from a person’s profile. Sigh.

No tagging

Nope, you can’t tag photos with the Android Facebook app. To be fair, you can add tags if you’re uploading directly from your mobile, but only when you’re uploading. Once they’re up, they’re up, and you ain’t tagging nobody.

Incidentally, last time I tried to tag a photo it didn’t work.


This is a really dodgy one, ‘cause if you miss someone’s birthday, there’s no going back. One of the biggest faux pas you can make is to fail to acknowledge someone’s birthday when they successfully acknowledged yours. That’s a friendship killer right there.

You can check for birthdays under Events, but it’d be much handier to have them displayed automatically along with the News Feed, in classic Facebook fashion.

Message syncing

There’s some bizarre phenomenon whereby private messages sent via the full site don’t always sync with the Android Facebook app. I just had a gander at my messages, but I really couldn’t tell you why some do and some don’t. Weird.

Liking comments

You can like status updates, but not individual comments. The only option is to remove them. In fact, you can’t even see when comments within your own status updates have been liked. Very annoying.

Well, I think that’s my rant over. If you don’t use Facebook, you probably gave up about 300 words ago.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m away to poke someone.

Read more about: Android

Add a comment

JoeBear  Sep. 2, 2011 at 13:18

On top of that I find selecting notifications from the pull-down bar rarely opens the facebook app, and the whole thing takes an age to update - regardless of me using a wifi connection or not.

Oh and the widget is pretty grim, but I fear that's one negative comment too far...

Cozworth806  Sep. 2, 2011 at 14:23

Is it almost as easy and far more productive to go in via a browser to the full or mobile site?

jtanz0  Sep. 2, 2011 at 15:50

I can like Comments and see who liked comments
Facebook birthdays show up in my phone calendar
message syncing seems to work fine for me

Yes not being able to tag photos is annoying (I'm not the poking sort so that's not an issue for me) but otherwise I'm pretty happy with the latest FB app

(Galaxy S2 Android 2.3.3)

beckett1  Sep. 4, 2011 at 14:23

Also the facebook app doesn't support android 3 tablets :-(

matt101101 / MOD  Sep. 14, 2011 at 19:28

It just got updated today, some pretty decent changes IMO. Pull down to refresh, a nicer interface etc...still not as nice as the iOS version, but a step in the right direction.


You don't need an account to comment. Just enter your email address. We'll keep it private.