Facebook introduced the Facebook Lite app yesterday, a drop-down version of the Facebook for Android with less data usage that works conveniently across various network conditions.
Published in the newsroom of the social networking giants, Facebook Lite will target developing and third world countries, more specifically, the ones with lower bandwidth that only make Facebook for Android redundant.
Over a billion people already access Facebook from their mobile devices in different parts of the world. In many countries and regions, specifically across South America, Eastern Europe, Africa, and most parts of Asia, the networks can be so slow that they’re not able to support Facebook for Android functionalities.
Facebook Lite is a purpose built application to give people the ultimate Facebook experience even with minimum bandwidth. The application is less than a megabyte in size and loads quite instantly. Despite being a drop down version, you get to experience the core features of Facebook, including News Feed, notifications, status updates, photos, and much more.
It’s not Facebook’s first attempt at tapping into developing markets. If you recall, Facebook launched the Facebook Zero five years ago, which was a text-only version for the social network that works with carriers. Facebook then acquired Snaptu, renaming it to Facebook for Everyphone that builds a featured app for the developing parts of the world.
More recently though, the internet.org has been a successful initiative of Facebook in giving web access to more than 5 billion people in developing countries. This partnership is with telecommunication companies like Telenor that operates local carriers in Bangladesh and Pakistan. Facebook is currently building drones to rain internet on rural regions, much like Project Loon of Google.
Vijay Shankar, the Product Manager of Facebook Lite, believes that “adding multiple interfaces to the main Facebook experience is something we’ll have to maintain for years to come.”