Why would anybody need an alternative app for Facebook when there is already an official Facebook app? Because it eats up your data, battery and memory.
Despite all the negative press about Facebook recently, it's hard to say goodbye to the app, and there are no real alternatives to Facebook right now. In addition, the app of course can be a drain on any smartphone's system.
These two problems can be solved. Either install a different app to save your data, battery life and memory, or if you want to delete the app for good, we recommend an alternative.
Previously, your only options for a slimmer, less data intensive version of Facebook were the mobile site and wrapper apps. But now we have an official Facebook app that does the trick.
Facebook Lite is a standalone app that can replace the regular Facebook app. It uses less data and works on 2G networks or when you don't have a stable connection to the internet, meaning it won't cost you so much data if you want to keep your monthly bill low. It's also a small app, so it doesn't take long to download and install.
It's the fastest version of Facebook you'll find. See your friends' posts and upload photos quickly and efficiently. The app is compatible with most Android phones, even older ones. You don't lose too many features since you can still message and have group conversations, get notifications and share updates with multimedia attached.
Facebook mobile site shortcut: for basic use
Let's start with the easiest and lightest method. If you head to Facebook in Chrome, hit the options button and select Add to Home screen, then you've got a quick and convenient way to check Facebook without all the resource-intensive bulk of the official app.
There's practically nothing you can't do via this method that you can through the app, either. In Chrome, just head to the options menu, go to Settings > Site settings > Notifications and make sure notifications are allowed, and you'll continue to receive notifications for new messages, friend requests and everything else.
As you will see below, there are some extra features you can access with a little help, including a notification shade bar.
Tinfoil: for the original wrapper
As with all the apps listed from here on in, Tinfoil is little more than a wrapper for the mobile Facebook site, making it light, fast and far, far less resource-intensive than the official Facebook app.
Tinfoil is the original, open-source Facebook site wrapper. It offers increased privacy, stripping out Facebook's data mining capabilities from the mobile site and serving everything to you in a neat package.
Swipe: for the closest thing to the Facebook app
The newest entry into the Facebook wrapper arena, Swipe places a heavier emphasis on UX and UI design than the other apps here. The app has the same battery and memory-saving advantages – although currently it is slightly more battery-intensive than the other wrappers found on this page – but its main draw is how it functions more like the official app. Things like pressing on the active tab to scroll to the top of the page and tapping again to refresh the page will make this the easiest wrapper to transition to.
Its name comes from its tab-swiping navigation system, which allows you to scroll through your news feed, friend requests, notifications, and more, just by swiping left and right.
It also has a pin lock feature, securing the app against curious peepers, and there are a host of themes that change the colors, as well as four Look and Feel options that alter the layout and look of the app more drastically.
Toffeed: for the slickest experience
Toffeed provides perhaps the smoothest wrapper of all. It's crisp, clean and fast, and it also has an omnipresent circular button placed at the bottom right of the screen that you can press to make a post, be it a status update, photo or check in.
Another feature of note is that Toffeed enables more granular notification sync frequency options than any other app listed. Anything down to five minutes is possible. This determines not only notification timeliness but also how battery-intensive the app is.
If none of these alternative apps suit you and you just want to limit your data use on the regular Facebook app, you can adjust how many photos you want to see by following Facebook's tutorial.
Have you used any other social media platforms or deleted Facebook all together? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.