Facebook Lite, the social media platform’s barebones version for low speed internet, is one of its fastest growing offerings
Facebook, the ever-growing social media giant, has doubled its number of users for its bare-bones product Facebook Lite in less than a year and serves 200 million monthly active users. The app supports 55 languages and is popular in over 150 countries but mainly in Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico, and the Philippines. Today it’s being launched in four additional countries: Israel, Italy, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates.
The company’s engineering office in Tel Aviv, Israel created this product to provide the optimum Facebook experience for users in areas with poor Internet connections or with low-end devices. Also, in developing areas, a common issue is multiple users using one device. With the revamped Facebook Lite, people can easily log on and off their account when sharing a device. They can also still access videos, multiple photo uploads and have apps start at faster speeds. Tzach Hadar, Product Manager at Facebook, says, “The engineers working on this project need to consider users with low-quality Internet connections and limited data packages, but also make sure the experience is great, regardless of where they connect.”
This product comes on the heels of the failed launch of Free Basics, a free Internet service provided by Facebook for rural Indians. You would assume that anything free would be desired, but the people of India scorned the offering because it had limited access unlike what the Internet truly is, or represents. Regulators listened and banned Free Basics in India, championing net neutrality. Disappointed but with lessons learned, a Facebook spokesperson stated that Facebook “will continue efforts to eliminate barriers and give the unconnected an easier path to the Internet and the opportunity it brings.” Facebook Lite just might do that.