Facebook Releases Facebook Lite, A Super-Slim 251kb Android App For Emerging Markets [Updated]
[Update: 5th June 2015] – Facebook has announced that starting today, they are rolling out Facebook Lite in countries across Asia, and over the coming weeks Facebook Lite will be available in parts of Latin America, Africa and Europe. Check out our review below of the first version of Facebook lite when it was released in January of this year. Going forward, users in India will not need to sideload the APK, but can directly install it from Play Store.
I have been using the app for past 3-4 months and it works beautifully without any issues. It is fast and gives you all the updates and notifications. And because it is extremely light and only has core features, it does not eat up your expensive mobile data bandwidth!
If you have Facebook app installed on your phone, you know the amount of space it takes. A minimum of 50mb or more.. The app itself weighs over 35mb, and once you start using it, the app consumes over 200mb on average.
Installing and using such a heavy-weight app takes up resources, not only phone resources, but your mobile internet data resources as well. For users who have high end phones and stable 3G connections, it should not be a problem. However, for majority of users, especially in India, that is asking for a lot.
Facebook clearly understands this problem and they have now released a extremely lean and light-weight app called Facebook Lite, which is optimized for low-end Android devices and developed specifically for users in emerging markets.
The app only weighs 252kb, probably one of the lightest app in Android market and offers nearly all the important features of a full fledged Facebook app. Facebook Lite allows users to post status updates including photos, post comments to updates by other users, message friends, have group conversations, notifications of like/comments,
Is Facebook Lite really Good!
We tried installing the app through Google play store, unfortunately, it told us that “This app is incompatible with all of your devices.” However, we got hold of the APK and installed Facebook Lite without any issues.
The first impression we got was that it is a nice mix of Facebook Zero (basically facebook in browser) and full fledged app. To keep the app extremely light-weight Facebook has created a HTML 5 app which does not use too many native elements. However, it does offer some of the most important features from full-fledged app including notifications, which Facebook Zero did not have.
Infact, from our perspective, Facebook lite makes a strong case not only for low-end Android phones, but also high-end phone users who want a lightweight and fast app that also saves their mobile data bills.
For example check out the difference in the amount of space both these apps consume..It’s huge!
Yes, Facebook Lite does not have the same finesse that a full fledged app offers you, but you have to remember that the eye candy that full app offers comes at a cost!
Even today many users prefer to access Facebook through their mobile browsers to save on costs – For them Facebook Lite is the perfect choice!