Facebook & Instagram experience deteriorates even further in mobile browsers

Aug 20, 2021

From our experience and recent reports from users, the Mobile Web UI for Facebook-owned sites has deteriorated rapidly. Since we do not own or control these sites, we have no power to fix these breakages — please reach out to Facebook for an explanation.

Over the past several weeks, random yet very obvious bugs have crept in. This affects the two main Facebook properties, Facebook and Instagram, and also WhatsApp Web which was never properly supported on Mobile Web anyway.

Example Issues

Users report the following kinds of issues with Facebook: (this is not an exhaustive list, and there may be more.)

We are concerned about how such obvious issues can continue to make it past their QA department, and are only left to wonder if there may be an alternative explanation.

Broader Context

For context, Facebook recently sent Cease and Desist letters threatening the developers of Facebook wrapper apps.

In addition to legal threats, they also unilaterally terminated those app authors’ personal Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp accounts.

You can read about it here: Search: facebook wrapper cease and desist.

Next Steps

Moving forward, we cannot offer any future guarantees about Facebook sites.

Following these actions from Facebook, we have removed all Facebook properties from the Hermit Library. You can still create Lite Apps for these sites by typing in the URL yourself.

Users who already have the Facebook or Instagram Lite Apps active in Hermit will not be affected. Neither will any future users who want to access these sites — just type the URL like any other site. We just won’t be promoting or listing these sites in our Library.

Our long-term recommendation is to #DeleteFacebook and focus on all the awesome Web sites that don’t offer a degraded experience for mobile Web users.

Of course, every other site will continue to work well in Hermit and any other WebView-based browser.

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