Facebook is one of the most popular social network in the world. Most of the users will have the applications installed on their mobile devices. However, the amount of memory and power the app consumes cannot be overlooked. The fact that Facebook forces the users to download a separate app (Messenger) to use its messaging service only makes the situation worse, especially for low-end devices that is very popular in emerging markets. These devices typically have less storage and limited performance. Data connection is more likely to be slower in these markets too. As the original app is packed with so many features and it does not fulfil the needs of the market. Luckily, Facebook has an answer: Facebook Lite.
Facebook Lite is a new Android application developed by Facebook. Essentially it is a stripped-down version of the original application and it is optimized for low-end devices. First of all, the app is extremely light-weight. Coming at less than 300KB, it can be downloaded easily. It also takes up significantly less storage, opening up the limited space for other apps in low-end devices. Secondly, the app is designed to work with poorer Internet connection with speed as low as 2G and it will use less data too. You can use the messaging function on this app too, without being prompted to download the Messenger app regularly. It can work on devices running Android 2.2 or newer, which basically means all Android devices that are still alive are supported. Being light-weight also reduces battery and RAM consumption.
So what’s the cost? Facebook Lite is not as good looking as its brother. The animations are absent and the layout reminds me of the web-version of Facebook. The functionality is somewhat restricted too, although the core functions such as messaging, notifications, news feed and photo-sharing is still present. The reviews in Play Store show that people are complaining about lack of support on landscape orientation, copy & paste, saving photos and more.
So is the app only meaningful for budget-friendly devices only? Not necessarily. Normal people can still benefit from the Lite version of Facebook. If you are a light user of Facebook, you waste the resources of your phone by the bloat brought by the Facebook app and the web version of Facebook cannot deliver notifications. This app will be useful for your case. If your monthly quota is limited or your speed is being throttled after exceeding the quota, this app can help you too as it uses less data.
Currently, the app is only available on Google Play Store in Bangladesh, Nepal, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe. For users out of these regions, you can search for the APK file and sideload the app on your own. In case you are interested, you can get the file here.
[Update] The app is now available in most emerging countries including Malaysia. Get it here.
I have replaced Facebook and Messenger with the Facebook Lite for days and I actually did not miss the full version of the application other than the better visual design. So will you switch?
Source: Google Play Store