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Facebook skips Play Store in latest version, app now features direct updating?

According to reports, Facebook’s latest update is being pushed direct to Android users without the aid of the Google Play Store. Rather than receiving a prompt from the apps marketplace that an update is available for the social network’s Android offering, some users have been seeing a pop-up message upon launching Facebook informing users that a new update is ready to be installed.

The app will download the update in the background before prompting users, and after upgrading to the newest version enables a permission to automatically pull down future updates when connected to WiFi. Other new features available in the latest version of Facebook for Android include the ability to change profile pictures, improved messaging, and options to flag spam or hide stories from the feed.

As of now, we haven’t spotted the update on our own Android devices, how about you, dear readers? Let us know if you have received the new version directly.

[Facebook via Liliputing]




  • King_James_The_Wicked

    I got the direct update last night… Thought it was odd

  • Coast19

    Yep, I got it directly as well.

  • Caleb Cole

    I got this PITB of an update. It sat in my notifications for 2 days because it wouldn’t download over 4G, it kept saying it needed a network. When i finally turned the WiFi on it took forever. I finally just left it when I went to bed. This morning the message was gone. I assume it finally installed.

  • Cincybearcatfan

    Yes, I got it and was frustrated. It was stuck in download mode draining my battery. I went into apps and tried to force close it but it didn’t stop the download. I shut down and rebooted my Gnex and when it rebooted, the download continued. When I returned to WiFi it finally finished downloading and prompted that Facebook had an update and to install it. Is there a way to stop it from having this permission?

    • Cincybearcatfan

      I’m wondering if I go into the Market and uncheck “auto-update” for Facebook if it will stop it from being able to do it again. My only other thought is that it wouldn’t matter because it’s bypassing the market altogether. This has to be a violation of Terms of Use somewhere.

      • enomele

        You’re correct

      • Splaktar

        That won’t matter. The only way to disable is uninstalling Facebook.

      • Frankie Abaddon

        No its not a violation. Auto-update disable won’t work either. But I don’t use FB app I use Flipster. Check the permission see if it states anything about this style of update. Then disable the permission.

      • Frankie Abaddon

        Spent a little time searching the permissions FB ask for I’m wondering if System Tools Add app shortcuts is the culprit.

    • Brandon Golway

      Same thing happened to my GNex and a friend’s Gnex. I was on Wifi all night thought and it never continued, maybe because I was on 3g/LTE when it started. I just removed it and rebooted to get rid of it.

      Edit: even after I removed the app and rebooted the freaking thing is still downloading!!
      Edit 2: A friend just told me that you can stop the download by going into the “Downloads” app and deleting it.

    • disqusroadpizza

      c app LBE Permissions

  • Fr0stTr0n

    Still sucks

  • http://twitter.com/Defenestratus Defenestratus

    Yet another reason why I don’t use that den of iniquity known as Facebook.

    Ugh everything they do sickens me.

  • Jayshmay

    Same problem as Cincybearcatfan.
    Samsung Droid Charge, Verizon.

  • M.B

    No one cares facebook is for nosey people

    • camelsnot

      awww you have no friends. It’s ok lil fella.

      • OptimusL

        Yes the loser who constantly flames other posters for no reason is telling someone they have no friends just because they don’t like Facebook -_-

      • ari_free

        Let me introduce you to this thing called “meeting people in real life”…

      • M.B

        Friends and Facebook? lol you need to find real friends big fella

        • Big_EZ

          “That’s not a real puppy”

          • Fifth313ment

            I swear when I first looked at it I thought it was Jar Jar Binks from Star Wars, lol.

      • Covert_Death

        So how are all your internet friends? I don’t much like Facebook either, I prefer phone calls and actually my friends and experiencing their life to random things they write on a website throughout the day

      • supremekizzle

        You’re seriously the equivalent of Richard Yarrell. Negative about everything except for your own delusional views.

  • camelsnot

    There is an issue with downloading the update. As mentioned in the article, you must be in Wifi in order to download the update. It’ll hang if trying to use LTE or the lesser 3G/Tmobile/etc. If it still hangs, you may need to delete any Fackbook apk found in your downloads folder, then try again.

    • Dustin Crooke

      Ah… That explains my issue. I misunderstood. I thought the wifi only was an option for future automatic updates.

  • Eric A.

    I’m wondering if Facebook is doing this so that they can avoid all of the negative reviews their app has been getting in the playstore. Previous updates have pretty much ruined the Android Facebook app.

    • camelsnot

      not sure your point. People can still write bad reviews regardless if the app updates outside of gPlay. I guess the thing I’m concerned with is why is Google allowing ANY app in its store to be updated outside of the Play Store ecosystem. First FB, then who is next? Loosen control and bad things happen.

      • chuckles87

        i hope google blocks facebook in the playstore until they remove this

  • http://about.me/mttsndrs Matt Saunders

    Yes, it notified me yesterday evening and each time I dismissed the notification it would pop up again in a few minutes. I’m curious what they’re playing at by bypassing the Play store, but we don’t seem to have much of a choice: either we go ahead with their new update style or we uninstall the app.

  • Alex

    This happened to me late last week and after the update finished, Facebook was still killing my battery and the app crashed every time I opened it. I now use friend caster. It’s a much faster app anyway

  • RitishOemraw

    “and after upgrading to the newest version can enables a permission to automatically pull down future updates”

    It can enable this function?
    The user can enable this function?
    or
    it WILL enable this function?

    These things matter, please be clear about it.

  • Hothfox

    I might be a little paranoid, but I uninstalled Facebook on my mobile devices. I don’t need an app downloading content to my device without my permission. I’d love to quit Facebook all together, but all my friends use that to communicate, and won’t switch to another platform like Google+. >:(

    • inthepit

      games do this all the time…. nothing new here….

      • louched1

        True, but games don’t have all the permissions that FB has. There’s certainly a lot more room for mistakes to be made with this.

    • JulianZHuang

      Yea like they steal your address and ask someone to rob your house. Facebook is dangerous. But then again, google also got my address and credit card.

      • OptimusL

        No one is gonna rob your house, relax.

        • http://www.facebook.com/davidalanbrand David Brand

          I think he was being humorous towards Hothfox’s ridiculous comment. lol

      • Hothfox

        It’s not about them stealing my address. I realize Google also has all the information on me anyone could ever want. It’s about an app going around the Play store to download updates. If I wanted an app to go around the Play store, I would have just sideloaded it. I also just don’t like Facebook as a whole, so it was one more annoying thing they’re doing.

  • Jackson Veliz

    That stupid update took forever and drained my battery twice!!

    • shonangreg

      Yeah, it scratched my screen too. And I think it deleted my micro-SD card as well. Damned facebook ;-)

  • sdrawkcab25

    I’m still refusing to update it, unless it goes through the play store… I turned off notifications for the FB app so it would stop prompting me to install it. I may just uninstall the app altogether and use the browser; it is just as functional.

    • John Shepard

      That’s what I ended up doing. The constant notifications kept bugging me.

  • Joshua Saunders

    It did this weeks ago, and it made my phone laggy. Removed and all was well. No more FB, liberating.

  • Brandon Golway

    I noticed yesterday on my Verizon Galaxy Nexus that I had a download called “Facebook (build 140579)” that wouldn’t go away even if I killed the download service and didn’t show up in the play store. It was still there after a reboot, it hasn’t gone away in about 20+ hours. I’m on AOKP. A friend, who also has a VZW GNex (but IDK what ROM) mentioned this last night out of the blue and I was surprised that he had the same issue. My phone has been laggy as hell and the battery has sucked recently, maybe this Facebook BS is the cause of all of it.

    • http://twitter.com/Defenestratus Defenestratus

      Whenever a relative calls and asks me why their android phone is so laggy, I always tell them to uninstalled Facebook. Most of the time it fixes the issue.

  • http://www.facebook.com/smiley1979 Zachariah Smiley

    yes and it wouldn’t update over 4g spent all day in my task bar until I got to wifi

  • bringiton8989

    This makes me very suspicious. Play is good enough for everyone else. Why not Facebook? New permissions they don’t want to tell us about? Content Google won’t like?

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/107214144202094295079/posts James

      I think your tinfoil hat is on a little too tight.

      • louched1

        Facebook has a long history of adding features that compromise it’s users’ data and then later going back and changing it if enough people complain. Or the auto-enroll and then allow the user to later opt-out method which is equally as bad.

      • burningmoon

        I think your reigns are a little too loose. The Play Store is intended to be a secure environment. There is no need to lure users into allowing Play apps to download from unknown sources. If a ‘reliable’ source like Facebook sets this precedent it will make it easier to malicious developers to trick users into doing the same. Furthermore, I want an explanation from as to why this highly unusual and unnecessary trick was undertaken. The Play Store handles updates just fine. Why break the rules and use such a suspicious and potentially dangerous delivery method? This isn’t conspiracy, it is a bad mistake by a company with a history of bad mistakes that compromise users privacy.

      • http://twitter.com/SpamStream lolwut

        I think you’re naïve

      • http://www.facebook.com/davidalanbrand David Brand

        maybe they put it in the oven too, burnt brains !! These idiots that worry about their data make me laugh…i tell them all the time “No one cares about your stupid facebook posts or your photos or your boring text messages, you’re not that important” These self important losers make me sick.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=653786823 Neto Lugo

          I use my devices for mobile banking. I don’t need some shifty app asking for permissions to leave a loophole for a 3rd party to get into my account info and wipe my life savings out. I got a family to feed. Taken out by a shifty app? I will pass sir.

    • feztheforeigner

      I’m a developer, any permission changes would need to be updated via a manual update from the Play Store. No permissions can increase with a few silent update like this, they basically did what a game would if it wanted to add new levels.

      Not saying I prefer their method, maybe it makes it easier for the lazy public, however there isn’t too much to worry about.

  • Christopher Robert

    facebook eats battery. ITS WHAT IT DOES. Google+ is way better.

    • JulianZHuang

      I wish it eat battery on my iphone 5. Got too much battery.

      • Christopher Robert

        ^^^^^The obvious troll is obvious ^^^^^^

      • OptimusL

        Nah your battery is pretty terrible, considering.

  • redspear2

    I got this Yesterday. There was no message on FB that this would happen. There was nothing online no press announcements. I am very suspicious of uninitiated downloads and upgrades that spontaneously appear so I didn’t download it kept popping up and I thought I had a new version of Air Push. So I uninstalled FB hoping it went away it did. I than re installed FB.

    It was almost impossible to distinguish if it was a phishing scam or not. They should of at least sent out a press release to warn the techies that it wasn’t malware.

  • Dustin Crooke

    Yes, very annoying. Started last night and still going. Shows no progress and I can’t kill it. I’ve also had great LTE connection the whole time.

  • ineptone

    I was wondering what was going on when the FB app was updating and couldn’t be stopped in any way, shape, or form. Hearing this news makes me feel good about my decision to uninstall/disable the app. Now, if only I could get the few people I still speak to on FB to switch to Google+ all would be right with the world.

  • ORITGuy

    It popped up for me last night and I thought it was a fake update notice at first. The update itself went fine, but I’d prefer if they left it up to the Play Store to do app updates so we know where it’s coming from.

  • enomele

    No. Just no. There’s a reason for an app market, it’s like Facebook wants to be in control.

  • androidscales

    Google + is million times better than pos Facebook

  • Skifreek

    note 2 here on att running international stock rom… got this forced update last night and was wondering what was going on… sketchy

  • http://twitter.com/RandinoW Randino

    I’m worried that this is a way to bypass permission changes. Facebook has had many privacy issues in the past, so I wouldn’t doubt they would be willing to go that route. If Facebook can directly update an app, then why can’t a rogue malware app do the same? Place some simple, no permission, app in the Play Store, get it on millions of phones, then directly update it to do whatever you desire. I think they call that a Trojan Horse!!!!

  • AlexRayquaza

    I don’t think this is slectju at all.
    Since this is Facebook.
    If they provide an update that can jeopardize our confidential and personal information, then they will be in serious legal problems.

    • louched1

      This is totally slectju!

  • Hrethgir

    Very glad I stopped using the official Facebook app a long time ago and switched to FriendCaster. This whole thing sounds sketchy as hell, I don’t trust Facebook any farther than I can throw them.

  • Tim Mc

    I searched the Web yesterday trying to determine if this was MALWARE since Facebook said nothing about this update. I do not understand why they cannot go through the Google Play like all the others apps. Uninstalled yesterday. Reinstalled since already on DROID Bionic. Now asking me to update again. Top right button is cancel. Just hit that and ignore it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cameltoad Richie Carpenter

    Yes, I received the update, but it didn’t update for about an hour, and I had not given it permission to update so i freaked. i deleted the download in the download manager.
    This does not make me happy!

  • Keith

    Yeah it was trying to update yesterday, it didn’t prompt anything I just seen it updating in my status bar. I ended up disabling my download manager to stop it, but I’m sure it ended up downloading later on when I didn’t notice.

  • http://twitter.com/NERV_REl NERV

    That’s why I had a suspicious download of facebook suddenly

  • http://www.facebook.com/jimwilsoniv Jim Wilson

    I got the update about a week ago – thought it may be malware at first.

  • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.thon Matthew Thon

    My problem was that it was trying to update on its own, but wouldn’t actually update. It went for 3 hours trying to download and wouldn’t even connect to start. I had to uninstall FB app because I was tried of it plugging up my other app downloads.

  • louched1

    Got the notification yesterday. Didn’t update. Uninstalled and switched to Friendcaster. Facebook already had permissions for more stuff than I liked, this was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

  • np6s4x

    just got the update, both my screens are different then the ones above, on the update avail. screen it listed the changes, and my version number is now 2.3…no problems updating, downloaded and installed within a few sec. and is working fine

  • Crimsonshadow774

    Haven’t seen it yet.

  • puppeteer23

    this is a massive fail. people are reporting the forced download taking days and hanging in notifications. you guys need to follow up more on this.

  • puppeteer23
  • http://twitter.com/albertomaikuma DarkSoldier

    The weird thing is… the app started to work without any issues after the update…

  • Raymond Rodgers

    I got offered it a minute ago, I nearly installed it before I noticed the new permission it requests: Download files without notification. That seems awfully suspicious to me, and even if it’s not malware that Facebook wants to add to my phone, I sure as heck don’t want any bloatware either; I don’t play any games on Facebook, and barely use any of their “apps.” I don’t use their page manager or instant messenger app, so why would I just let them download anything they want?

  • Havoc70

    i havent gotten it and wont, No way i am letting an app bypass the play store, especially not FB.

  • burningmoon

    I’ve been getting this for over a week, can’t get rid of it. Very suspicious.

  • Raveesh Bhalla

    I jus got the update, and it’s irritating as hell. Despite having cancelled it a bunch of times before getting some information as to why they are skipping google play, it’s been notifying me again and again and again. Despite it being 7am here. Once more and I might just have to uninstall it

  • Splaktar

    Yes, last week and I wasn’t happy about it so I uninstalled Facebook again.

  • Caseyjp11

    I dislike that it did it with no warning (download, etc.) I thought I’d been hacked, tbh. A little checking around online and I let it do its thing. Update was quick and painless, but I personally did NOT set any app to AUTO update…and this is pushing that line pretty good. :-/

  • Joshua Peters

    This app is stuck on perm download…wtf.

  • http://twitter.com/SpamStream lolwut

    I pdroid the hell out of Facebook

  • http://www.facebook.com/davidalanbrand David Brand

    I dont like Facebook much either , but the day i worry about what data they have or dont have or what permissions something as stupid as a mobile app has is the day i put a gun in my mouth. Listen up people, no one cares about you, no matter how much your hippy parents raised you to think you are special and important, you really arent . No one cares about your facebook posts or your photos, or your boring text messages or what kind of music you listen to. Its not a conspiracy, the people that run Facebook are not as bored with life as you are. They have money and real friends. If you want to hate facebook for whatever reason, then thats your issue…dont blame Facebook for giving a more direct way to update the mobile app. As so many of you so succinctly said “I just uninstalled it” Leave it at that, keep the drama to yourself. Surprising so many of you drama queens hate Facebook…it was made for attention hounds like you.

  • bobgosh

    Got it. One of the great new features is that every few minutes it will give a connection error message and you have to close & reopen the app. Ah, Facebook, what wonderous new issues, I mean, features will you come up with next!

  • james ortiz

    Chris Harper on Google plus stated that this is a bad thing as it allows Facebook complete access to your personal information and it allows malware to be installed on your phone

  • mirage03

    what i hate about the facebook app the most is it always ask to SYNC… after i logged in i get the prompt to sync my videos and photos, if i accidentally pressed yes , then everything in my phone would be synced into my facebook wall.. uggghh i hardly use facebook anyway..

  • Clide88

    Yep. Showed up on mine and my brother-in-law’s. I’m running a rooted Nexus 4 and he a rooted SGS3. Curiously, turning on Wi-Fi cancelled the update, at least on mine.

  • Red Colored Glasses

    I have uninstalled fb, until they change this. Not even google search updates this way.