Facebook is the most popular social media site on planet Earth. It has over a billion registered users, most of which are active on almost a daily basis. Unfortunately, the official Facebook app is a data using, resource hogging, battery draining catastrophe of an app that a lot of people don’t want. It’s always good to have options so we’re going to take a look at the best Facebook apps for Android. If these aren’t doing it for you, we have a second list of Facebook alternatives here that’s a little bit more in-depth!
[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Buffer is one of a few Facebook apps that also allow you to interact with other social media sites. This one allows you to sign in an manage accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and LinkedIn. Despite having a ton of social media support, the app does seem to work pretty well most of the time. There are some issues here and there, particularly with Google+ sharing, but it’s an overall positive experience if you use a lot of social media. The app is free to use if you’re an individual but will cost you a bit of money if you manage multiple accounts. This is also almost exclusively for posting things and doesn’t have a lot of features for interacting with other people.
We realize you’re likely on this list to get away from this application, but in some cases you can’t avoid using it. Whenever Facebook rolls out a new feature, the official app will have it long before the third party Facebook apps do. Facebook’s official suite of apps include Facebook Messenger, Facebook Groups, Facebook at Work, and Facebook Mentions (if you’re famous). They aren’t great when it comes to your battery life, but they’ll always get the new features first and Facebook Messenger is the only way to use the chat platform unless you set your mobile browser to “desktop client mode”. Click here to check out all of the Facebook apps.
Facebook Lite is a version of the official Facebook app that’s meant to use less system resources, less data, and is configured to work even with the slowest data connections. Its interface looks a bit old and the interface is a tad clunky, but it has a functioning Facebook Messenger built-in and it gets the basic stuff done quite well. Since it is built to work on virtually any phone and almost any network, that makes it perfectly usable on older devices and in places that only support 2G Internet. The only issue is that Facebook is being a real pain about letting everyone use the app, so you’ll have to install this one on your own. Click the button below to get the APK for installation.
[Price: Free / $1.40]
Fast is one of the oldest Facebook apps available and it’s had a lot of time to shore up its weaknesses. It has most of the same features as the official Facebook app, including posting, commenting on things, resharing, and access to Groups and Pages. It boasts Facebook chat support although we’re not sure how long that will hold out with Facebook cracking down on how it works on mobile. In any case, Fast has its issues, but it’s a good effort and works well for basic Facebook use. There is also a Fast Lite option that provides a more basic, but lighter experience.
[Price: Free / $1.69]
Metal for Facebook and Twitter is one of the up-and-coming Facebook apps that’s been getting a lot of positive receptions over the last year. Like most, this is a web-wrapper (the mobile website inside of an app) with some tweaks and additional features included to improve the experience. It boasts an ad-free experience, advanced notifications, a few UI tweaks, and there are even theming options. The developer has had a good track record with updating the app with new Facebook features (along with fingerprint support) and it’s a pleasant overall experience.
Puffin for Facebook is made by the same developers who did the popular, if quirky Puffin Browser. This is actually a browser app that is made specifically for browsing on Facebook. It features data compression that allows you to surf Facebook while using less data and also includes a tweaked UI for more enjoyable browsing. It works better on lower-end devices on slower network connections which is great if you’re hauling one of those around. It’s completely free and it’s something a little different.
[Price: Free / $4.99]
SlimSocial is a newer Facebook app that keeps it wicked simple. Its claim to fame is its intensely small size (100KB), that it shows no ads, and that it’s open source so you can go view the source code and contribute to its development if you want to. Aside from that, there isn’t much to talk about. It’s a web-wrapped which means it works more or less like the mobile version of the site does. The developer has also expressed interest in adding new features down the road like background notifications along with more stuff. It’s a good option, even if it’s not overly filled with features.
[Price: Free / $2.85]
Swipe for Facebook is one of the newer Facebook apps and so far people seem to really like it. The UI has been tweaked to give it more of a Material Design feel and you can change the UI to mimic different styles, such as Google+. It also comes with theming, Facebook Messenger support (for now), and a tabbed set up that lets you swipe between all the various parts of the app. It’s powerful, although many features (like theming) require you to buy the pro version. If you want to learn more, we have reviewed the app in-depth.
Tinfoil is a little bit older, but many people still swear by it. Tinfoil’s claim to fame is being a Facebook app that doesn’t ask for any of your permissions, hence the name. It’s a web-wrapped for Facebook and so most of the functionality is the same as the mobile website version of Facebook. The only downside to Tinfoil is that updates don’t come all that frequently (it’s been over a year as of this writing) so issues may or may not get fixed. At the very least, it’s completely free.
Toffeed is one of the newer Facebook apps and, admittedly, this one still needs a bit of work. It’s a web-wrapper and has most of the features of the mobile version of Facebook. It supports background notifications which is nice and the UI has been tweaked to have more Material Design. It’s also fairly light, clocking in at about 2MB. It does have some issues here and there, so it may not be the right fit for frequent Facebook users, but it can be a passable alternative for occasional users.