Remember Facebook Lite? Facebook experimented with a low-resource version of the website back in 2009 and discontinued the site a year later in 2010 citing that Facebook Lite was not optimized for mobile devices and that apps should be used instead.
The company did release and remove several apps in the meantime for mobile users and while those worked fine on most devices, they were not optimized for low-resource devices.
The release of Facebook Lite a couple of days ago for Google Android changes that. The apk file has a size of less than 300 Kilobyte and will install on all devices fast because of this (the regular Facebook app has a size of more than 30 Megabyte)
It has been designed for low-resource devices that connect to the Internet via 2G networks or in locations where network connectivity is limited.
Facebook restricts access to the application on Google Play to select countries in Asia and Africa. If you try to install it from another location, most of Europe or North-America for instance, you will get the notification that the app is incompatible with your device.
It is however possible to download the application from third-party sources and install it directly on your Android device.
As far as functionality is concerned, it seems to support the majority of features that the main Facebook app supports.
When you start it you are taken to your news feed by default which lists the most recent posts and events like birthdays as well.
The top features a search and below that information about friend requests, unread messages and notifications.
Additional pages are displayed when you click on the Hamburger menu icon. There it is possible to access photos, settings, pages, groups or events.
The bottom displays options to post a status update, or take or upload photos to Facebook.
Layout and design are optimized for fast loading times. This means that you don't get as much eye candy but will notice that contents load and display faster because of it.
It is not clear yet if you will save battery when using the app compared to the regular Facebook app. It is likely that Facebook Lite will use less battery than the regular app and that it will improve performance as well and especially so on low to mid devices.
The app has not been released for Apple's iOS and it is unlikely that it will be released for the operating system.
Facebook Lite for Android offers an interesting option to mobile users who notice performance issues when they use the regular Facebook application on their device. I would be very surprised if it would not improve battery and performance on many devices. (via Techcrunch)
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