Facebook has released a new app for called Facebook Lite, which is exclusively for entry-level Android smartphones with low specifications. The app is fast, more fluid, and uses less system and network resources. The social juggernaut has made the app available in emerging countries such as Bangladesh, Nepal, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Zimbabwe, but the app doesn’t seem to have any region based restrictions, as it is working in other places too. Also Read - Facebook Lite has now been downloaded over a billion times on Google Play Store
With less than 500KB file size, the Lite is designed to load quickly, and work seamlessly especially on the slower cellular networks such as 2G. Unlike the marquee Facebook app, Lite also lets you send messages to others without having to download and use Messenger, and sends push notifications. Also Read - Facebook Lite set to arrive on iOS soon: Report
The app is based on Snaptu, a social mapping service which Facebook acquired in 2013. The app offered access to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and several other popular social services to feature phone users. Snaptu’s technology worked on more than 2,500 different mobile devices and offered seamless connection on slow networks. Also Read - Instagram Lite launches globally to attract more users in emerging markets
In our brief testing of Facebook Lite, we found the app to be light as a feather. While we aren’t sure how much data it was able to save, it worked a lot faster than the other Facebook app. There are a few downsides too, though.
First of all, unless you live in any of the aforementioned nations, you won’t be able to download the app from the Google Play Store. So you will have to side-load (manually install) the app from a trusted third-party source. Secondly, the app isn’t optimized for higher-resolution screen, it seems. The interface looks blown out of proportion when used on the Nexus 5 or any other high-end specced handset.
Facebook’s intention with Lite is very clear. The company wants to improve its service and extend its reachability to more people, especially to those who are stuck in a crawling Internet network or sport a lower end handset.