There’s no denying that Facebook is extremely popular. Even if you’re not looking at their user base (massive), just check out their buying power (Oculus Rift and WhatsApp, anyone?). Now they’ve got an eye on the less accessible parts of the internet market with Facebook Lite, a low-resource, teeny little Facebook app that has been released for Android in a limited number of countries.
But what is Facebook Lite? According to its Google Play page (and it’s free, of course) it’ll give users access to the social network while using less data while being usable on slower mobile data connections. It’s been designed for 2G and the app comes in at under a MB, so expensive data costs are accounted for with the initial download as well. It’ll also play nice with low-spec smartphones, according to TechCrunch.
The list of countries that have access to Facebook Lite include Bangladesh, Nepal, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Zimbabwe, all of which are considered developing markets that rely on cellular phones in order to provide the bulk of internet access for the average person.
Facebook’s decision to release yet another app for their service makes a lot of sense from their perspective. Making it easier for even those folks who don’t have a lot of data, the latest hardware or the best coverage just expands the number of possible users they can have and that translates into cash for the company.
Facebook is said to be considering a wider roll-out of Facebook Lite and the countries that have it already are being considered a test-bed. It’s not confirmed that Facebook Lite is going to stick around though, so it might be a plan to snag it now if you’re running some older hardware – especially if you’d like the company to continue with their efforts in this line.