How to Turn off the Facebook In-App Browser

Facebook updated its App default behavior to always open post links in the in-app browser. This leads to problems with various pages (see the list below) and using the restricted Facebook in-app browser brings no benefits to the users.

To change this behavior, just follow the below steps:

1. In the Facebook App, click in the burger menu (top right corner) and then select Settings.

2. Scroll to the very bottom and click on Media and Contacts

3. Turn on the option “Links open externally”

That’s it! Now Facebook links will open in your default Internet browser.

Problems with the Facebook In App Browser

Facebook In App Browser or Facebook Mobile Browser uses the Android WebView component. While it may be the same engine used by other Android browsers, implementing an full fledged browser is more than just putting an URL bar and a WebView. Here follows some known problems with the Facebook browser due to missing or incorrect implementation.

  1. All pop-ups blocked – While blocking pop-ups might prevent undesired behavior, most of the browsers allow to open pop-ups based on user action (e.g.: user clicks on a link). Some websites rely on pop-ups for features like Social Login, which just doesn’t work inside of the Facebook in-app browser.
  2. Faulty Service Worker implementation – Service workers were introduced means to websites to implement features that would normally be available on native apps like offline browsing. Android WebView component allows service worker, but it just doesn’t work correctly in the Facebook in-app browser leading to unexpected behavior.

All in all, we ask ourselves what does Facebook want to achieve by forcing users to use their in-app browser. We see no benefit on it and we highly advise to just turn it off.

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