Writing in The Guardian, technology reporter Samuel Gibbs claims to have found that uninstalling Facebook's iOS app and accessing the social media site via Safari can save up to 15 percent of an iPhone's battery life.
Gibbs relates how he uninstalled the app on his iPhone 6s Plus and recorded its battery life at the same time each day for a week, comparing the numbers to a daily average taken from a week with the app installed.
The writer accessed Facebook's site through Safari for the same amount of time and for the same purposes as he had using the dedicated app. Gibbs also notes that he left Facebook's Messenger app installed throughout.
In conclusion, Gibbs states that his iPhone had on average 15 percent more battery life by 10:30 p.m. each day without the social media app installed. He also notes large gains in free space, since the deleted app had consumed 500MB in total of his iPhone's capacity. Gibbs chalks most of that up to Facebook's cache, owing to the fact that the app itself is only a 111MB download.
Several other users of the app were recruited to carry out further tests and corroborated Gibbs' energy-saving results without the app installed. A Facebook spokesperson said the company is investigating the matter.
Facebook is no stranger to concerns regarding the impact of its iOS apps on battery life. In October the company released an update to fix issues raised by users who saw large amounts of battery drain on their iPhones while the social networking app ran in the background, even with the background app refresh toggled off.
With the release of the update, Facebook said the problem was due to a recurring background audio issue, prompting claims from some tech bloggers that the "issue" was an intentional ploy by developers to keep the app active in the background and discreetly pre-load content.