For the last few weeks, the Facebook app on Android has been rolling out a new feature – it’s own internal browser. Some say it’s lighter and faster than other browsers, enabling you to skip from Facebook to links and back more efficiently (it loads less assets than a full external browser such as Chrome). Others argue that the move was made in order to give Facebook greater access to data on what you’re up so, others still suggest it’s a way to reduce what Google get!
If you haven’t seen it land yet, here’s a sample – with the menu open to show exactly how lightweight it is! Personally, I’m turning it off- but not because of the data reasons above. I firmly believe whether Google or Facebook have my data, it’s going to be used (or maybe misused) for commercial purposes at some point. I made a conscious decision to allow them to do so in return for free usage of various products I see value in. That’s a fair trade and I’m not gonna whine about it.
However, I use my phone (A LOT) for data on the move. Sharing, storing, researching. The browser included in the Facebook app includes no option to send or share a page other than within Facebook itself. I often email pages to other people, share on other social sites – and to do so within the Facebook browser means clicking to launch the page in a third party browser anyway – so an extra step in the process, and the data/time cost of loading the page twice. For those who want to switch the Facebook browser off, here’s how.
Within the Facebook app, hit the menu button on the right, then scroll down to App Settings (you’ll have to go down past Pages, Groups, Feeds and more).
From here, scroll down to “Always open links with external browser” – and check the box.
You’ll be back to using your original third party or default phone browser. I did find the Facebook browser a little faster for just reading stuff – so if the sharing and sending options make an appearance there, I’ll consider turning it back on!