Facebook may have crashed its Android app to test user loyalty

Facebook's days on the Play Store could be numbered

Facebook users are fiercely loyal. Or at least that's the conclusion the company must have come to after reportedly deliberately crashing its Android app.

The Information reports that 'according to people who have been involved in different parts of the strategy' Facebook has been developing contingency plans to ensure it still thrives if it ever gets kicked off the Google Play Store.

Part of that process apparently involved intentionally crashing the Android app for some users for weeks at a time, to see if they would find other ways to access Facebook, such as the mobile site, or abandon the service.

No app, no problem

Supposedly people kept coming back, despite having to jump through hoops to do so.

That should be reassuring to Facebook, but comes as no surprise to us, as a life without News Feed distractions is far too scary to contemplate.

The tests may seem drastic, but despite the apps presence on the Play Store surely being beneficial to both Facebook and Google, the two companies have a strained relationship. The social network giant doesn't always follow Google's rules and has been threatened with removal before.

We'd be surprised if Facebook was ever kicked off the Play Store, but if it is or if Facebook simply decides to leave, it doesn't seem like it will hurt the social network too much.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.