Facebook, in order to test the limits of consumer patience and the loyalty of Android smartphone users, crashed its app repeatedly, a report said. According to a report published on tech news website, The Information, on Tuesday, the company intentionally crashed the app multiple times to test how much their user base would put up with constant app crashes.
“Facebook has tested the loyalty and patience of Android users by secretly introducing artificial errors that would automatically crash the app for hours at a time,” Amir Efrati, a senior reporter with The Information, wrote citing a source familiar with the one-time experiment.
“The company was not able to reach the threshold. People never stopped coming back,” Efrati wrote citing the test result. The test, which took place several years ago, was also meant to check the success of a contingency plan in case the app was taken off Google Play — the official Android app store.
Efrati noted that “the company temporarily took the app out of the Google Play store in some regions to test audience reaction and then provided a link to those users on how to install the app through a backdoor in the phones”.
The move was a result of a contentious relationship Facebook has with Google, the report pointed out. According to Facebook’s contingency plan, should Google ever pull its Android app from the Play Store, Facebook would replicate many of the services that one gets through Google Play-enabled apps, like in-app purchases and updates.
With the test, Facebook explored ways to help people download its app outside of the Play Store, and considered alternatives to Google Maps for location info.