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The Truth About The WP Facebook App

I wouldn’t have bothered with running a battery drain test for the Facebook app (not to be confused with the integrated FB feature) but there were enough rumors floating around that I needed to find out for myself. I do have Facebook active on my phone, and the integrated option does most everything I need it to do, so I very seldom use the stand-alone app. For testing I moved the FB app to my Start screen and turned on every option I could as you can see in the screenshots below. I found it interesting that Facebook does not use a Background Task (a good thing actually) and relies on “push” for Live Tile updates and toast notifications. For those not knowing, that means the app only uses juice when it has something to feed to your tile. So no 30 minute checks or anything like that.

To recap, my phone (Lumia 900) is setup with the following:

  • – Data (mostly LTE) and Wi-Fi ON – Bluetooth OFF
  • – 8 Active Background Tasks (3 Internal)
  • – Location Services ON
  • – 5 Email accounts syncing (3 push, 1 every 15 minutes, 1 every 2 hours)
  • – Phone set down and untouched for a 8 hour period


My previous baseline tests have resulted in a 16%, or 2% per hour, battery drain in an overnight 8 hour test. For clarification, my Background Tasks include; USA Today, Fox News, Weather Channel, Mehdoh, Urban Dictionary, Network Dashboard, Clever-To-Do and Battery Meter (a homebrew app set to update every 10 minutes).

Test 1 – Facebook was already on my Start screen and all the options were turned on so all I did was charge my phone and set it down for 8 hours. Results: 100% at 1:10AM – 86% at 9:10AM – Difference: 14% or 1.75% per hour.

Test 2 – Same parameters as above. Results: 100% at 12:34 AM – 84% at 8:34AM – Difference: 16% or 2% per hour

Test 3 – Same parameters as above. Results 100% at 12:30AM – 84% at 8:30AM – Difference: 16% or 2% per hour. So three tests and aside from the Test 1 somewhat lower number (my baseline hovers between 15-16%)  basically no difference with the Facebook app active or sitting in the Apps list with notifications turned off (my default). Granted, I was not getting many notifications in my overnight tests (actually did get a couple) but the test was to disprove the notion that just having the Facebook app on you Start screen would use juice. Based on my results, that’s about the same as saying , “looking at a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese will make you gain weight”. Not so. I should also note that my daytime battery drain (see chart to right) was about normal at 3.5% per hour, which is typical with a weaker data signal (at work) and occasionally picking my phone up to check texts or email.


I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that after Test 1, I had two consecutive nights where my battery drained 22%. I threw these out after getting the results from Tests 2 & 3. Still not sure about the anomalies but I think I am getting closer to understanding them.

Another very interesting thing I discovered during this round of testing is that the new feature/bug introduced to L900s with the latest Firmware update, where Battery Meter will not display any percentages between 100% and 91% after a full charge (shows 100% , then 90% after several hours off the charger), only kicks in if the battery has reached 100% charge (or awfully close). As you can in the screenshot below (unlike those above), the battery charged up to 95% but after I took it off the charger it started decrementing 1% at a time, as it normally used to do.

Sixth Truth  The stand-alone Facebook app will not drain you battery just by pinning it to your Start screen, even with push notifications (it does not use a Background Task) turned on. Caveat: If you have 1,000 Facebook friends and receive 100s of notifications per day, then yes, this would probably have an impact on your battery life. But what else would you expect.

So there you have it. Another rumor squashed. On to the difference between LTE and Edge. Already have my phone set to Edge and will be keeping it there for the near future. This should be interesting.


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