Facebook rolls out super lightweight app for people on slow mobile networks
Earlier this year, Facebook piloted a new, stripped-down version of its mobile app aimed directly at developing markets. Called Facebook Lite, the app would allow people using phones that don’t have high-end specs and large batteries to connect to their network of friends. Today, Facebook Lite is getting an official rollout, landing first in Asia and later in parts of Africa, Latin America, and Europe.
The Facebook Lite app runs on Android, and is pared down to give people the absolute basics. Thus, it’s only 1MB, making it quick and easy to install. Data-heavy features like video and locations services are supported, but users will be able to receive push notifications and share pictures on the fly. The app has also been optimized to take advantage of 2G networks and work in areas with a bad signal.
Facebook has been pushing hard to get people in developing countries online (and using Facebook), perhaps most notably its experimental fleet of solar-powered internet drones. Its most recent initiative, Internet.org, is designed to encourage developers to design online services for their countries. However, the company has so far endured criticism for how the initiative could stifle net neutrality and competition.