According to the grapevine Facebook might be preparing to run its app without Android or at least, make the app available outside of the Google Play ecosystem. The problem faced by Facebook is that in order to run it needs an operating system whether it is Android, or Microsoft or iOS. The operating systems are the platform needed by these applications. What happens if Google no longer wants Facebook to run on its operating system? Can the Facebook app, which is turning out to be one of the most widely used apps in the world, manage without Android?
Of course this is a doomsday scenario and nothing of that sort is about to happen. But there might come a time when Google refuses to let Facebook offer its app through Google Play and then Facebook will be forced to run without Android. But, running without Android doesn’t mean you won’t be able to use the app on an Android device; it just means the Facebook app will no longer be available through Google Play. There are many places – non-Google – from where you can download and run Android apps.
Facebook may decide one day to go alone and offer the Facebook app as a standalone application rather than something that you need to download from play store. With or without Android, Facebook is there to stay and there might come a time when it no longer needs even the standard operating system to run, although, again, it’s a remote scenario. In that scenario, you may need Facebook operating system. But then the problem would be, every major service that gets into conflict with one of the companies providing the operating system may have to get their own operating systems developed. Remember the Netscape controversy? Windows was forced to allow Netscape to run on the Windows operating system despite offering Internet Explorer. Most of the major tech companies bet on search provisions.
According to this link, Facebook is working on a number of contingency plans in case there is a conflict of interest with Google and it needs to run without the Android ecosystem. As you may know, Facebook, like many other major Internet businesses, is trying to create its own environment in which once people are inside that environment, there is no need for them to get out and even if they need to use different applications, they can use them within the Facebook environment rather than first quitting the Facebook app and then moving on to that app.
Due to this Facebook has been experimenting with various features such as automatically installing new features and apps once people have installed the Facebook app or the messenger. Supposedly, Facebook needs to notify Google in order to run these additional apps and features which it hasn’t been doing and someday Google may start charging for these features. If Facebook begins to use other services being offered by Google like Google maps, sooner or later Google is bound to charge for those services and considering that more than 1 billion people are using the services, Facebook may run into a heavy bill.
In such a case scenario, Google may remove Facebook from Google play and consequently Facebook may have to run without Android play store. Facebook has already experimented offering its various apps without Android and so far it has experienced some level of success. For example, Facebook has experimented with the Oculus VR app store that is installed in some Samsung phone and so far the experiment has been a success.