Facebook testing "Lite" version - similar to Twitter and FF

Facebook has turned on a new feature for select groups of Facebook users (mainly in India) called "Facebook Lite" which is essentially a cut down, faster loading edition of Facebook's user interface that scarily looks more and more like Twitter (or even friendfeed).

Users who are being offered a place in the beta are receiving the message:
We are building a faster, simpler version of Facebook that we call Facebook Lite. It's not finished yet and we have plenty of kinks to work out, but we would love to get your feedback on what we have built so far.

The site for the feature is http://lite.Facebook.com. If you're not part of the beta you'll just see the normal Facebook interface. Users are pointing out that at the moment, it doesn't seem that different for them, but there still is more to come. A Twitter user tweeted: "Heh! Facebook Lite looks like a simplified version of Twitter with comments enabled. On 2nd thought, it looks like simplified FriendFeed." Ironically enough, Facebook just finished buying Friendfeed earlier this week.

Users are reporting that Facebook Lite is much faster, and easier to use, though still has many kinks to work out (as seen in fourth screenshot below).

When TechCrunch asked Facebook about the Lite test, they replied:
"We are currently testing a simplified alternative to Facebook.com that loads a specific set of features quickly and efficiently. Similar to the Facebook experience you get on your mobile phones, Facebook "Lite" is a fast-loading, simplified version of Facebook that enables people to make comments, accept Friend requests, write on people's Walls, and look at photos and Status updates. We are currently testing Facebook Lite in countries where we are seeing lots of new users coming to Facebook for the first time and are looking to start off with a more simple experience.

This evening, the test was temporarily exposed to a larger set of users by mistake. We have not opened up access to lite.Facebook.com to all users at this time. People who are not part of the test and are trying to access "Lite" will be directed to Facebook.com as usual."

Screenshots of the Facebook Lite trial can be found below:


Can anyone tell us why the heck that picture on the right is used for reporting feedback?!


This image shows that when Events is clicked an error is generated, indicating that the events section is not ready for Facebook Lite yet

Images courtesy Techcrunch

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Adobe CS5 on Mac to be Intel-only, Cocoa, 64-bit native

Next Story

Apple board meeting next week to discuss empty seat

40 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Question :what is the business model?

Because, if you put a "lite" version, then you are tossing away the chance to put ads on it.

Really? I don't remember them talking about removing ads.

Did it occur to you that the person above was using Adblock? Think, man. Do you think Facebook would miss a chance to advertise to you?

I just wished my friends started using less apps, instead of more everyday. I don't use any there and I keep hiding new ones from time to time so they don't clutter my friend feed.

It would great for Facebook to provide a setting to hide messaged for all applications...

ajua said,
I just wished my friends started using less apps, instead of more everyday. I don't use any there and I keep hiding new ones from time to time so they don't clutter my friend feed.

It would great for Facebook to provide a setting to hide messaged for all applications...


There's a fantastic firefox script for this called "Facebook Purity"

Owenw said,

There's a fantastic firefox script for this called "Facebook Purity"

And does it work for all apps? I just hope it does.
I'm getting this right now. Thanks for such a great tip!

dagamer34 said,
Basically it's Facebook from 3 years ago, and now it's a new feature! YAY!

+1 Lol... pretty much, that's the sad part. People are going be like "that's so revolutionary and fresh, bah gawd"

Really? From 3 years ago? Excuse me, I've been using Facebook since 3 months after it started, and I can assure you, this looked nothing close to it.

i thought the old facebook was extremely cluttered and how it is currently is very simplified compared to what it was... it looks like theyre slimming it down even more...

now they are more like a website in the traditional sense, rather than trying to be a complete internet experience on their own...

TonyLock said,
They need to update the iPhone App.

The new version will be released very shortly (though without Push, which will come later in the year in version 3.1).

Sam Symons said,
The new version will be released very shortly (though without Push, which will come later in the year in version 3.1).

They have been very slow about it! My message inbox doesn't even load at all now. Can't believe they won't have push either, they must have known about it long enough!

Can anyone tell us why the heck that picture on the right is used for reporting feedback?!

Lite is still a baby(beta) and we are being requested to take care of it by pointing out bugs. :P

Looks good. I could definitely go for a "lite" version of Facebook. I'm a fan of twitters simplicity (although not so much the implementation), so having this on Facebook would be great!

Should be useful at times, but seriously facebook has issues in India... it works real slow!
I've used it on 128kbps, 256kbps and even 2mbps and on all of them it opened pretty slow!

Navan said,
lol, yes... but I think the 2mbps my dad uses was from some other provider :-s not sure though.

thats just the line speed going from you to your provider... its not the speed that they actually transfer the data to you, i.e. your modem is doing alot of 'waiting' because your provider is slow

almost (and i mean almost) everyone i know rarely uses facebook via a PC anymore, instead via iPhone, HTC phones etc

So why the need to bring the mobile experience to the PC internet?

Hell i rarely use my laptop so much these days im browsing neowin via my phone

tbh I'd probably use this version. I don't care for the apps, and most of the other junk on there most of the time. In fact I rarely post on facebook now and just post on twitter.

DomZ said,
tbh I'd probably use this version. I don't care for the apps, and most of the other junk on there most of the time. In fact I rarely post on facebook now and just post on twitter.

Exactly the same for me.