Facebook Lite, a version of the firm’s core app for Android users which consumes less data and is suitable for networks in emerging markets, hit 200 million users.
“We built a light version of Facebook for people with low bandwidth internet. Now 200 million people use it to connect around the world,” CEO Mark Zuckerbeg said.
COO Sheryl Sandberg commented that in several countries, where many people are mobile first or mobile only, the app is helping business owners grow and reach customers on mobile even when bandwidth is at a minimum.
The app first launched in June 2015 and reached 100 million monthly users about a year ago. According to media reports, the countries it is available in have been expanded to include Israel, Italy, United Arab Emirates and South Korea.
According to TechCrunch, Facebook Lite is partly why the social media giant managed to boost its business in the “rest of world” region, which contributed $839 million of its $8.8 billion Q4 2016 revenue (see chart below, click to enlarge).
In comparison, Snapchat earned $7.8 million from 39 million daily users in the ‘rest of world’ region through the whole of 2016 and, unlike Facebook, Snapchat includes Asia Pacific in its figures.
The difference is that “rather than wait for the developing world’s network infrastructure to increase bandwidth, Facebook shrunk its app into a Lite version,” TechCrunch noted.
Facebook also launched a ‘lite’ version of its standalone Messenger app in October.