Facebook looking to push updates outside of the Google Play Store

Facebook looking to push updates outside of the Google Play Store
It sounds like Facebook is getting tired of having to go through Google in order to offer updates to Android users. This is actually a pretty interesting idea. There are reports that Facebook is going to try pushing updates to its Android app outside of the Google Play Store, meaning users would still install the app initially through Play, but updates after that would come straight from Facebook. This functionality would only be for Android users, because this sort of thing would be impossible on iOS. 

The reason why it's interesting is that it helps Facebook to avoid a big problem with any platform (aside from the web, of course): people are really lazy about updating software. The higher into the tech elite you go, the less true this is, but for the vast majority of users, updating software is something that becomes habit to ignore. Google Play does offer automatic app updates, but that feature isn't on by default, so the ones who really need it, don't use it (unless the option is toggled by that person's "tech savvy" friend or family member.) 

The idea is that Facebook would be able to avoid this trouble, and offer the app updates directly to users automatically, which would make it much easier for Facebook to ensure everyone was using the same software. The updates would only be downloaded over WiFi, and won't use your data plan. 

There are a couple troubles with the idea though. First, it's unclear if Facebook is even allowed to offer an app with this sort of functionality in the Play Store to begin with. The only other apps that we can think of that do this would be the Amazon Appstore, and Swype, and neither are offered through the Play Store. And, would Facebook be able to get enough users to get the app outside of the Play Store. More importantly, this presumably would have to be done through sideloading, which opens up strange security risks when that option is toggled on the device of someone who doesn't really understand the implications.

FEATURED VIDEO

19 Comments

1. D.Aceveda

Posts: 432; Member since: Jun 30, 2012

Here's an idea Facebook. How about making the FB app good instead of crippling it with every update.

2. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

I haven't updated the Facebook app in two months because each update makes it worse and worse. Facebook Team, if you would release a stable update, you wouldn't have over 2 million one star rating in the Google Play Store.

3. michael95gt

Posts: 45; Member since: Jul 19, 2009

I think they're trying something now with my Nexus 4, my notification bar is showing FB to be attempting to download something for the past hour or so. I go to the Play Store and it shows as up to date. I've gone into settings and Force Closed FB twice, but after about 30 seconds it starts back. The notification reads: Facebook (build 144481) Any ideas? I have screenshots if I had a way to post.

4. _VipeR_

Posts: 47; Member since: May 30, 2011

I just had this happen as well. It looked as if it was downloading in my notification bar, but nothing was actually transmitted. After an hour, I long pressed on the notification and went into the app info. It took me to the download manager and I force closed it. Interesting that this article popped up the same day that this happened.

7. michael95gt

Posts: 45; Member since: Jul 19, 2009

It's still happening as of now, I'm gonna connect to wifi as soon as I get home and see what happens since the article said the updates wont download over the cellular network

10. michael95gt

Posts: 45; Member since: Jul 19, 2009

Update: I connected to wifi when I got home and the download indicator when away shortly after. Not sure what happened, it didn't indicate that an update was installed or anything. Oh well, at least its gone. :-)

12. checkmymike

Posts: 219; Member since: Dec 28, 2011

Same with mine. But after a while it downloaded the update and i was asked if i want to replace the current fb app, together with the changelist. I confirmed yes and the fb app was updated. Gonna test it now.

13. Fuego84

Posts: 357; Member since: May 13, 2012

I had this face book build 144481 trying endlessly to download I opened my browser went into the menu, downloads, and there it was it status was downloading, I just deleted it.

19. axllebeer

Posts: 271; Member since: Apr 05, 2011

I had this happen to me the other day as well. As soon as I get home I always turn of wifi. Later it was gone. Im running an Evo LTE. This must've been the reason as to why

5. bparkerson unregistered

Michael, go to Google+ and post your info along with the screenshots and im sure you'll find an answer. While you're there, honestly give Google+ a good test drive for a month. Enough time to build your circles and, I bet like me, you'll say the heck with Facebook.

6. bparkerson unregistered

Michael, go to Google+ and post your info along with the screenshots and im sure you'll find an answer. While you're there, honestly give Google+ a good test drive for a month. Enough time to build your circles and, I bet like me, you'll say the heck with Facebook.

8. Jyakotu

Posts: 867; Member since: Dec 12, 2008

This happened to me on my Galaxy Nexus some days ago. It was showing that Facebook was trying to update itself, so I was wondering why, since I always manually update my apps.

9. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

I seen several customers complain about this, the Facebook app is getting some pretty poor ratings and comments about the spam update notifications outside the play store, many whoupdated the app say its crippled its functionality. And judging by the comment many many people have reported it to google

11. dirtydirty00

Posts: 428; Member since: Jan 21, 2011

my facebook app automatically downloaded an update. then i got a notication that it had done so and told me to 'click to install' the update

14. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Bad idea, keep the update through play store

15. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Also, there is an option to have updates occur automatically on play store settings.

16. Tux_Alan

Posts: 74; Member since: Jan 30, 2013

So these jackasses are responsible for that nasty never ending download that wouldnt start ... Evil evil thng..

17. Shinydesert

Posts: 62; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

So happy since I deleted my Facebook account,I realized that I needed to get a life. I don't miss it at all.

18. crazymonkey05

Posts: 188; Member since: Nov 20, 2012

this happend to my brothers LG Revolution i opened facebook because he said it was acting wierd and bam there was a prompt saying that his version was unsupported and needed update...now he is at 2.2.1-g2

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.