Facebook pilots 'lite' mobile app in emerging markets

Facebook pilots ‘lite’ mobile app in emerging markets

26 JAN 2015

A ‘lite’ version of Facebook’s smartphone app for low-end Android devices in emerging markets has already crossed 10,000 downloads, TechCrunch reported.

Facebook Lite – which was also the name of a simplified version of Facebook’s mobile website from 2009 to 2010 – is a standalone app introduced in some African and Asian countries such as Bangladesh, Nepal, Nigeria and South Africa and may expand to more regions if deemed successful. It launched quietly on 20 January.

The app includes push notifications and camera integration and is based on the Facebook Lite – which was also the name of a simplified version of Facebook’s mobile website from 2009 to 2010 – is a standalone app introduced in some African and Asian countries such as Bangladesh, Nepal, Nigeria and South Africa and may expand to more regions if deemed successful Snaptu technology used in Facebook’s feature phone client.

The app is only 252 KB which means it can work on low-end and dated Android devices, is “efficient with data” and has been “designed for 2G networks and areas with limited network connectivity,” according to its Play Store description.

The idea, it seems, is to cater to the surge of smartphones in emerging markets where Android devices are the most popular due to their affordability.

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Saleha Riaz

Saleha joined Mobile World Live in October 2014 as a reporter and works across all e-newsletters - creating content, writing blogs and reports as well as conducting feature interviews...More

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