Why is Facebook app for iPhone so slow to load the content (in particular posts comments) and it sometimes doesnt retrieve the posts at all?

The website works quite well and fast but the app is significantly slower, using the same wireless network.

Is something wrong in my phone or does anyone have hints how to debug something like this?

  • 2
    Anecdotally, I hate the Facebook iOS app. The mobile interface of Facebook works wonderfully baring limitations like the inability to upload media (iOS browser limitation, not Facebook limitation), and the app? Not so much. I'm content with just blaming Facebook and calling it a day. Especially since Facebook's iOS app developer very publicly lambasted Apple for numerous grievances, grievances that seem to be very specific to him. Maybe. [/rant] May 24, 2012 at 22:06
  • @JasonSalaz Was this a new grievance? I know way back the developer (they had one guy doing it) felt slighted by Apple's review process and want no part of it. But that has long been corrected (actually it seems like anything gets approved these days). As for the app, look at the rating. Thousands of people have rated it 1-star for just generally being junk. The current version has an overall rating of 2-stars (out of 2665 ratings). And as a whole, 1545 have given it 1-star, which an additional 379 giving it 2. Only 364 users haven given it 5-stars. That should clue you in not overall quality.
    – user10355
    May 25, 2012 at 2:53
  • @cksum No, no new grievances, and I don't know who's developing the iOS app at/for Facebook anymore. I just know that I have a friend who works at Facebook reading my complaints, and probably hates me at this point :). He either refutes me or just says: "Soon". :( May 25, 2012 at 17:59

3 Answers 3


The predominant theory as to why the current Facebook app for iOS is so sluggish is that the app:

  1. suffers from its heavy use of JavaScript in a UIWebView component which does not currently benefit from the "Nitro" Javascript engine which is available to Mobile Safari
  2. is poorly designed

The app uses very little native code, and thus most of your interaction takes place within a UIWebView displaying HTML and executing Javascript.

Essentially, anywhere where an app is displaying something that looks and acts like it's "embedding a web browser", that's a UIWebView.

In very simple terms, the Nitro Javascript engine makes Javascript "faster".

iOS 4.3 brought the Nitro engine to Mobile Safari, and IOS 5 brought the Nitro engine to web shortcuts launched from the home screen. This is one potential reason why your use of Facebook within Mobile Safari seems so much more responsive.

As of iOS 5.1, UIWebView does not benefit from the Nitro Javascript engine.

This issue has been recently discussed on the Mobtest blog, "Here’s why the Facebook iOS app is so bad (UIWebViews and no Nitro)" with a number of comments in the related Hacker News thread.

Within the current app, Facebook has recently increased their promotion of additional iOS apps:

These apps -- ranging from "old news" to "brand new" -- seem to do a good job of focusing on doing a single Facebook-related task well, in some cases adding support for something which the general Facebook iOS app does not even support.

  • Can we please have the solution to fixing our phone in English? There should be a simple fix to making the app more smooth
    – user55333
    Aug 18, 2013 at 18:58

I work around it by using a vpn. Then comments, videos and others load quickly. Perhaps the problem is caused by ISPs using Deep Packet Inspection (which is bypassed when you use a vpn). The problem is also on android.


If you want to click FB links use the web version (at least until FB improves its design.)

  • Could you explain bit more what you mean!
    – Ruskes
    Oct 1, 2014 at 16:36

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .