Facebook Lite – the less data hungry version of the social networking app – has witnessed a tremendous growth since its launch in 2015. This week, the app crossed 200 million users mark, registering a 100 percent increase from March last year. Given the targeted aim of appealing to users in developing markets with poor internet connectivity, Facebook has been able to derive the most of the app in a short span of time.
The app has been launched in over 150 countries including India, Brazil, Indonesia, and Mexico. With a support for 55 languages, Facebook is now planning to soon extend more countries including Israel, Italy, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates, Mashable notes. The app is currently only for Android as it is aimed at users with low-end smartphones and slower internet connectivity.
The Facebook Lite app weighs less than 1MB in size, which makes it ideal for phones with limited storage as well as limited data usage plans, low bandwidth, and regions with unstable internet connections. It supports Android 2.3 and above. Over the years, it has been updated with features that bring it closer to the main app without compromising on the data saving ability.
To further its reach, Facebook also announced some updates to the app including the ability to like, comment, and share posts. Furthermore, performance improvements have also been added to the new version of Facebook Lite. ALSO READ: Facebook posts ‘strongest’ growth in India thanks to Reliance Jio’s free offers
Now, Facebook is making the Lite app more usable for business users. “In several countries around the world, many people are mobile first or mobile only – and that includes business owners. FB Lite is helping business owners grow and reach customers on mobile even when bandwidth is at a minimum,” said Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg in a post.
To put it into perspective, Facebook draws over a billion users monthly on mobile with a major chunk coming from developing nations where the need to connect to the digital platform is palpable. Other than proposing its controversial Free Basics program in such nations including India, Facebook introduced the Lite app. While Free Basics failed to impress the government authorities and regulators, the Facebook Lite appears to have struck the right chords. ALSO READ: Facebook to soon touch 2 billion users-mark: Report
As the 13-year-old social networking company aims to further its reach with a mission of providing connectivity to all, it is predicted to soon become the first 2 billion-user company this year. According to a technology research and advisory firm Jackdaw Research, the company’s success is attributed to its impressive user growth to promotional data plans from countries like India. At the given pace, the company is set to hit 2 billion users later this year – a milestone which no other Internet company has reached.