How To Breakout Of Facebook In App Browser and Open Safari / Chrome

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The Facebook in-app browser is a web view that Facebook uses to open external links on the Ios and Android app.

While it might be a good idea for Facebook, as it keeps users inside their app for longer, it can be a headache for developers. There are a lot of features that are not available and others have weird bugs.

The other day, I was implementing Apple pay for one of my websites. We spent days coding the system to only find with the system almost done that Facebook in-app browser did not support it. To make matters worse, that’s the browser that 80% of the users use to access our store, as we are running Facebook ads to it.

I spent countless hours researching the web and trying a few different approaches. Apparently, Facebook does not want you sending people to their native OS browser, and that’s understandable as pointed out above. The only way would be for the user to tap settings and hit the “Open with” option. Imagine having to ask the user to find the settings and clicking the button? It would make my conversions go down the drain.

Fortunately, I found an alternative way for doing that, both for Chrome and Safari.

For Google Chrome, it’s pretty straightforward, just redirect the user to chrome://yoursite.com or make a clickable link with that. These are called URL schemes. It will prompt the user if he really wants to Leave Facebook and open Chrome.

For Safari, things get much more difficult. There’s no URL scheme for Safari and until then was impossible. But with a lot of trials and errors, I’m proud to say I found the way!

It requires you to set up an application on your website or server and requires some Linux knowledge.

If you are interested, feel free to shoot me an email and I can set up the system for you for a fee for my time.

Keep in mind that you will not be able to dynamically send parameters.

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By Tiago