Q. I checked the battery usage setting on my phone and saw that Facebook was taking up a huge amount of energy. What is that app doing to suck up all that juice, and is there a way to limit it?
A. Over the years, the Facebook app for Android and iOS has added more power-hungry features, like autoplay videos, location-based suggestions and real-time notifications. That means that more power is demanded from the battery. The separate Facebook Messenger app for text, audio and video calls has also been found to consume a noticeable amount of battery charge.
Adjusting settings in the Facebook app can rein in some of the energy consumption, though be aware that doing so can limit the app’s functionality. For example, disabling the app’s ability to use the phone’s location-services function can save some power, but the map-based features may not work as well.
In the settings for the phone or app, you can also turn off Facebook’s ability to download data in the background, which also helps if you have a cellular plan with data-use limits; the Android version of the app has a Data Saver setting that may help streamline bandwidth consumption, too. You can find specific instructions for maximizing mobile battery life in Android and iOS on the websites for Google and Apple.
In the Facebook app’s settings, turning off the autoplay option for videos and mobile notifications can save energy. Forcibly closing the Android or iOS app when you do not expect to be using it for a while is another power play.
Facebook’s mobile app is convenient and makes using the service easy, but it is not the only way to get to your Friends list if you decide to delete the software to save battery life. Instead, you can log into the mobile version of the site at m.facebook.com with your phone’s web browser, which should take up less battery power. Many Android users also have the option to use the Facebook Lite app, which was designed for less-powerful phones using slower connections. It performs basic Facebook functions like sharing photos and posting status updates.