There are some countries around the world that don't always get a speedy, consistent, or reliable internet connection. And with this idea in mind, Facebook has released a new Android app, called Facebook Lite, which is a simplified version of its original Facebook app. The app is designed for users who are on slow and undependable 2G internet connections.
Facebook Lite has recently been released in two Asian countries, namely, the Philippines and India. The app was being tested by the company back in January, and was made available for limited download in some countries across Europe, South Africa and parts of Latin America soon after. The app only reached the Google Play Store this month.
Facebook's official full-fledged app takes up about 30 MB of a device's storage, which can be pretty big for low-end phones. Facebook Lite, on the other hand, only consumes about 435 KB, which is very small, and makes very little impact on a handset's storage space once installed.
With this in consideration, the lite version of the Facebook app has some stripped down features. It includes core features such as the News Feed, status updates, push notification, photos, and even ads; the app does not feature video playback.
While releasing a lite version of the Facebook app helps people in accessing the social networking website even faster, the app is reportedly a part of an effort for the company to gain even more users. According to a report by TechinAsia, in an interview with Facebook product manager Vijay Shankar, there are about 125 million Facebook users in India, and 90 percent of these users access the service via their mobile devices. Despite the presence of 3G and 4G networks in the country, 2G is still reportedly very prevalent. Shankar explains:
Over 875 million people in the world access the internet through 2G and we wanted to create a good user experience for these users to enable better access in emerging markets.
Facebook Lite is being prepared to launch onto more markets in the future You can download Facebook Lite via the Google Play Store here.