Facebook Lite Android app introduced today for developing markets

Source: Next Power Up

The word ‘Lite’ in Zambia is synonymous with certain lager brands that have less alcoholic content than other beers of the same brand. Now think of that in terms of a social application like Facebook, which has been skinned to create Facebook Lite, announced today by the social media giant.

It has been introduced for Android platforms and according to Facebook’s Vijay Shankar, who is Product Manager for Facebook Lite, it ‘will work well in all types of network conditions’, meaning no matter how crappy the internet access is in Zambia, you can still access the features as they do not use up too much data.

The Facebook Lite app for Android was created for users of the app in emerging markets who have difficulty accessing the full app’s features/functions as they have really slow network due to poor network infrastructure or due to high costs of data bundles. Facebook Lite is made to only use very minimal data at a very low bandwidth, enabling people to still access Facebook when their internet speeds are slow, or they can’t afford more expensive data bundles.

Facebook Lite will give users access to their newsfeed, status updates, photos, notifications and more. The app is less than 1MB, can be downloaded from Google Play Store here and loads very quickly.

Think of this as a 3rd World app targeted at developing countries. For now it is only available in Asia, and Facebook said in its blog that ‘over the coming weeks Facebook Lite will be available in parts of Latin America, Africa and Europe’.

This is similar to the free access to Facebook on Internet.org that Mark Zuckerberg and friends introduced to developing countries – launched in Zambia first – to enable them access for free to partner websites using different mobile operators’ services. The difference is Facebook Lite will use a minimal amount of data, but not a heavily as the standard app.


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