Facebook Lite: social network testing slim app for slow phone connections in emerging markets
Facebook has released a slimmed down version of its mobile app to allow people on slow connections to access the social network.
The app is thought to be targeting emerging markets where 2G connections are more common. It was released over the weekend in Bangladesh, Nepal, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Zimbabwe, according to Techcrunch.
The app is about 250KB in size megabyte in size, and its description makes clear that it is “designed for 2G networks and areas with limited network connectivity”. It is built to be efficient in the ways that it downloads and uses data, and is built to be quick to load on slower phones.
Facebook Lite runs on Android and is available through the Google Play Store. Its entry there shows that it has been downloaded between 10,000 and 50,000 times, with average reviews of 4.6 out of 5.
The app is similar to the version of Facebook built for Snaptu — a lightweight mobile application form that was bought by Facebook in 2011 — but adds extra functionality, like push notifications and camera integration.
The new app is just one of many attempts by Facebook to broaden its reach into emerging markets and places where internet connections are slower and harder to find. The company has been working on special drones with which it hopes to cover the world in wi-fi, and its Internet.org project which gives free access to a range of mobile internet services including Facebook.
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