Facebook has reportedly been disconnecting users from its Android app for hours at a time in an attempt to study the loyalty of its users, according to a report from The Information.
It's not currently clear exactly where the tests took place and how many users on the social media network were affected, however, what is clear are the results — users are extremely loyal to Facebook and check back very often to see if it's back online, and even try to access it from the mobile site rather than the app.
According to the report, the tests were all a part of Facebook's larger effort to prepare for a future conflict with Google, which would see Google removing Facebook's apps from the Google Play Store. This is because Facebook presents arguably the fastest growing threat to Google, and even though Google currently distributes Facebook's apps, Facebook is working on a way that users could continue to use its apps regardless of whether or not they are available on the Google Play Store. This would involve the creation of an app store that would directly compete with the Play Store.
Of course, all of this is a big "if." Despite Facebook being such a big threat to Google, it's unlikely that Google would drop Facebook's apps from its Play Store, especially considering the fact that Facebook is the store's largest developer. Despite this, it's entirely possible that Facebook won't wait for a conflict, but will instead leave the Google Play Store behind for itself.
It's pretty disappointing that Facebook has been treating its users like test subjects without first asking them. While the results are interesting, this information being leaked could ironically shake customer loyalty.
Via: The Verge