Facebook Lite, the stripped down version of the main app, which also works on 2G connections and devices with low-end specifications, has now crossed 200 million users. Facebook Lite is available as a separate app on Android. Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg both wrote about this feat as well.
“We built a light version of Facebook for people with low bandwidth internet. Now 200 million people use it to connect around the world. I loved hearing this news — what a great start to the day,” Zuckerberg wrote.
Meanwhile Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg pointed out how Facebook Lite was helping businesses stay in touch with their customers, even when the internet connectivity is patchy. “In many areas, networks can be slow and unable to support all the functions available on Facebook. FB Lite gives people access to core Facebook experiences like News Feed more quickly and while consuming less data,” wrote Sandberg.
She added, “In several countries around the world, many people are mobile first or mobile only – and that includes business owners. FB Lite is helping business owners grow and reach customers on mobile even when bandwidth is at a minimum.” Her post gives the example of Sao Paulo-based wedding photographer Altiery Monteiro, who used FB Lite to use less data and save money. He also found FB lite took less time for him to upload photos from his mobile device.
In March last year, Facebook has said that Lite crossed 100 million monthly active users globally. Another report on TechCrunch points out Facebook saw its revenue from low-bandwidth regions rise significantly thanks to this Lite app.
Facebook Lite supports more than 50 languages and has an install size of less than 1MB. It has been rolled out in more than 150 countries across Latin America, Asia, Africa, and parts of Europe. Facebook has also added support for video, multiple photo uploads, pinch to zoom for photos and emojis.
For Facebook, which is now seeing growth in upcoming markets like India, African continent, a lite version of the app is a game changer. Data is still expensive in most developing nations, and internet connectivity remains patchy; the situation is expected to change over the coming years, but in the meanwhile Facebook has established itself as a brand with users in these countries by offering a product which will work no matter. Facebook Lite solves the problem of data usage, and works on 2G as well, which gives it an advantage over the competition.