Facebook for Android is a large, data hungry app – but not any longer. Users based in India and the Philippines can now get their hands on Facebook Lite, which is a pared-down version of the world's biggest social networking site. It recently launched in these two markets to provide the Facebook experience with an app weighing only 435 KB.
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Facebook Lite is designed for users who are based in markets with heavy 2G network usage or in areas with slow or unstable data connections. The app supports devices running Android 2.2 or higher, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently wrote that Facebook Lite is rolling out to countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe.
The key points of difference between Facebook and Facebook Lite are that the Lite version runs a simpler interface and that Facebook's servers optimize content to make it load faster on slower networks. Facebook has stated that video content is not yet available, but will be added to Facebook Lite at a future date.
The app has been designed to run on Android devices with far lower specs than the usual flagship devices and has been released as a trial in various Asian and African countries. Despite rejigging the main app last year for emerging markets, Facebook evidently realized even more elbow grease was required.
Facebook Lite also works on poor quality internet connections, meaning that regardless of where you are, if you're using Facebook Lite you'll get more Facebook out of the Lite version when your Wi-Fi or data signal drops. From what we can see there are also no auto-play videos in the stream either.
The Lite app is based on Facebook's feature phone service Snaptu, but you'll still have access to push notifications and other indispensable Android features like camera integration and chat.
How to download Facebook Lite
Facebook hasn't made any official announcement yet on the app, and this may just remain a trial that never sees a wider release, but there's nothing stopping you from grabbing the app and installing it right alongside the normal Facebook app right now to see what you think.
If the above Play Store link doesn't work for you, simply grab the Facebook Lite APK and install it yourself. You'll have to have Unknown Sources enabled in your security settings for this to work though.
It's definitely worth a look in any case: who wouldn't want a less resource-hungry Facebook app with a smaller storage footprint and better data management?
Have you tried Facebook Lite? What are your thoughts?
Source: Google Play