Difficulty Level: Basic user

If there is one app you’re going to download from the Google Play store for your Samsung phone, it will sooner or later probably be Facebook. Facebook’s official app for Android is sluggish at times and it isn’t uncommon that it loads until timeout. With the latest update, it even places (unwanted) additional Messenger and Camera icons on your Home screen. If you’re looking to speed up Facebook on your Samsung Galaxy and enjoy all of the features that the original Facebook app offers, I suggest you stop using the official app altogether. Take a look at these third party apps, Fast for Facebook and FriendCaster, who aim to provide what Facebook couldn't:

App 1: Fast for Facebook

Advantages:

Fast for Facebook is a lightweight app with low battery and memory usage. It is faster than Facebook’s official app and even lets you configure the speed with which it runs. It has a clean and minimalist Android 4 style layout. An interesting visual feature is that it lets you customize the color layout and even insert your own picture as the background. It supports all features just like the official Facebook app.

Good to Know"Friendcaster loads the initial login around 7 times faster than Facebook. Fast for Facebook loads it up to 5 times faster"

Disadvantages:

This speedy free app is still in the Beta phase and has a few quirks and cosmetic issues but these are really minor. Sometimes posts are not showing up right away but the same happens when using the official Facebook app. 

Overview:


Step 1: Get Fast for Facebook

Download and install Fast for Facebook from the Google Play app store. Upon launching, you can set up multiple Facebook user profiles. Tap on Select User and sign in to Facebook so that it gets the permissions needed to support all of its functions.


Step 2: Adjust Performance

You can adjust the speed with which the app delivers the Facebook experience. Under Settings > Performance, you can set the check-mark if you want to switch to a high performance setting if you want to have the maximum speed at the cost of a lower resolution (it still looks well!).


Step 3: Change Background

Under Settings > Background, you can select the background color or use a picture as the background.


Step 4: Adjust User Interface

You can adjust the size of each post in the Home stream. Tap Settings > User Interface and select one of the outlays.


App 2: FriendCaster

Advantages:

FriendCaster, like Fast for Facebook, runs faster than the official Facebook app. It has an intuitive layout and a Home screen from which you can access all Facebook features. The polished design is modern and without quirks and lets you select from a number of Themes. Real time notifications can be turned on and off. The app has a lot of little features all over the place, which makes clear that it was designed with attention to detail.

Disadvantages:

Posts, photo albums, or friends don’t always show up immediately and on some rare occasions, these are missing entirely. But even the official Facebook app has these bugs once in a while. Please note: if you don’t see any posts at all, you might have to go to the Facebook website and then under Privacy Settings > Ads, Apps and Websites > FriendCaster, change the setting to “Friends” in case it is set to “Only Me”.

Overview:

Step 1: Get Friendcaster

Install the free version from the Google Play store and open it. If you’re not signed in to Facebook, it will prompt you to sign in and accept all the permissions needed to allow for a complete Facebook experience.


Step 2: Setup Friendcaster

The first screen you’ll see after logging in is always the Home screen of the app. From this screen, you can select which Facebook feature you’d like to access. Thus the Friendcaster Home screen serves as a navigation interface to manage the Facebook experience. Tap the Settings icon in the top right corner and familiarize yourself with Friendcaster’s settings. You can change themes, increase the font size, edit Contact sync settings, adjust what types of notifications you’ll receive, and change behavioral things such as what happens when you tap the Back button on your phone.


Comparison: Fast for Facebook vs. FriendCaster

Since our topic is speed, let’s take a look at how each app’s loading times are in comparison: 

Loading Times (WiFi)

Fast for Facebook

FriendCaster

Facebook

Initial Login

3 seconds

2 seconds

15 seconds

News Feed Reload

3 seconds

3 seconds

4 seconds

Profile Timeline

3 seconds

3 seconds

4 seconds

Page Timeline

1 seconds

2 seconds

4 seconds

Conclusion

Both, Fast for Facebook and FriendCaster are clearly faster during initial log in. The loading times for the news feed and timelines are similar for all three apps but Fast for Facebook and FriendCaster, unlike the official Facebook app, have not been sluggish at all in my test. I have not experienced loading until timeout once. FriendCaster is the overall winner because it is a complete product and for my taste a lot smoother and prettier than the Facebook app. Fast for Facebook is to be watched. Their aim is to compete on speed. I’m eager to see what the official version has to offer once the Beta phase is over.