It looks like over the past few years, according to a report published by The Information, Facebook has opted to deliberately crash its Android application in order to test the loyalty of its social network users. The report claims that Facebook wanted to see how many of its users would continue using the platform despite the issues they ran into. It is not yet known how many users were targeted, or where exactly these tests took place, but, a person familiar with the matter acknowledged that “people never stopped coming back”. Even more, those who ran into these “planned” errors repeatedly, and for longer periods of time, have switched from the Android client to the mobile version available through browsers, instead of giving up on the platform.
Apparently, these tests were part of a bigger plan Facebook is working on; think of it as “plan B”, should the conflicts between Facebook and Google lead to a point in time where Google would remove the Facebook app from its Play Store. A completely different app store, controlled by Facebook, and competing with Google’s, isn’t a solution that’s been ruled out.