Facebook conducted secret tests to determine the magnitude of its Android users’ Facebook addiction, according to a new report published yesterday.
Like a bunch of crash test dummies, users of the Facebook app for Android were (several years ago) subject to intentional Facebook for Android app crashes without being informed of the tests.
These tests were reportedly conducted so Facebook could determine user resilience to app deprivation–that is, whether users would find ways to use Facebook on their Android devices without the Google Play store app, such as finding the app elsewhere or simply accessing Facebook via their browsers.
Given that Facebook reportedly has a billion users on Android, there is substantial motivation for Facebook to tests its app independence from Google. Facebook is apparently also testing the waters for its own app store.