Facebook background activity too high after iOS 16 update? Check out this potential workaround
Facebook is the most popular social network today, boasting about 2.934 billion monthly users around the world.
The platform is full of useful features to share posts with your contacts. It also has multiple additional tools such as live-streams, login to third-party platforms with your Facebook account, messaging and more.
You can access your Facebook account from the website or from mobile apps. But it seems that the app is causing battery consumption issues, especially on iOS devices.
Apparently, Facebook background activity is too high for many users after the recent update to iOS 16.
Facebook background activity too high after iOS 16 update
Currently, many iOS 16 users are facing an issue where the Facebook app background activity is abnormally high, negatively impacting the battery life of their devices.
Reports show up to 9 hours of background activity for the Facebook app, which seems like an irregular behavior.
Facebook background battery usage on iOS 16
Two days ago i noticed large battery usage from Facebook in the background. On iOS 16 and today updated on iOS 16.0.2. I need to close the app to stop working and using the battery in the background.
Never had this before on iOS 15. Anyone with similar situation. Restarted the phone , uninstalled the app, nothing changes.
Some reports suggest that the issue started after a recent app update:
Latest version of facebook app background battery drain
Anyone else noticed that the latest version of the Facebook app, which came out on 22 Sept, is creating unusually high battery drain on background activity? It’s the same on both my iPad Pro and iPhone 11.
Also, while there are many iOS 16 users affected, there are also some cases reported on iOS 15 devices.
Other Meta apps likely affected
Some reports suggest that other Meta apps (Facebook’s parent company) such as WhatsApp and Instagram could likely be affected on iOS devices.
WhatsApp and Facebook are killing battery life on my iPhone 13 Pro on iOS 16 even without background refresh… so annoying
The apps reportedly exhibit this behavior even with the app background refresh disabled for them. And apparently, these are the possible causes of the problem.
Facebook app ‘forcing’ to stay in the background
Some users suggest that the cause of the problem could be an attempt by Meta to bypass iOS app limitations when running in the background.
This means that Meta could be using some ‘tricks’ to try and keep its apps running in the background as much of the time as possible to capture the most useful user data for commercial purposes (localized ads).
iPhone apps usually close as soon as you’re not using them anymore. But Facebook used to do tricks, like playing a noiseless audio just so it could keep a function running in the background to keep sucking your data.
It even used to keep the microphone active to hear your conversations. Don’t know if they’re still doing it.
Other users support the suspicions by adding more related information, such as the presumed presence of a kind of ‘imperceptible noise’ that could always be in the background.
The effect of the noise in question could only be noticeable by interruptions that occur when switching from a music player to the Facebook app.
Facebook app implementing ‘Beacons’ signals
There is also the possibility that the Facebook app is taking advantage of ‘Beacons’ signals to keep running in the background as much of the time as possible.
Facebook, Google and even Apple themselves used a different method of playing and listening to inaudible beacons, that can be heard by other phones (as well as hearing “dumb” devices such as dumb TVs playing these beacons during ads, so the phone can link this to your profile).
Beacons are basically low power wireless signals (via Bluetooth). These signals not only allow determination of the one’s geographical position, but also keep certain apps constantly waking up.
Beacons can also contain some useful metadata for ad systems. For instance, there are stores where Beacons determine the identity of the customer through an ID, allowing the system to access their in-store purchase history.
Once the purchase history has been analyzed, the system can send the user (through the app with Beacons support, which in this example would be the store’s app) offers related to their personal tastes.
Although the Beacons work via Bluetooth, the data could be captured by the Facebook app and uploaded to the company’s servers. In this way, they could complete the user ‘commercial profile’ to send localized Ads.
You can try these workarounds
There are a couple of tips that could help you resolve or mitigate the situation. First, you can try turning off Bluetooth for a couple of days and see if that helps reduce Facebook app background activity.
If that is the case, then the problem is related to the use of Beacons. But if you want to save yourself that step, then for now the most recommended is to use Facebook through a web browser.
There is no official word on this matter from the Meta team yet. We will update this story as events unfold.
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