Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has launched a low-resolution, slimmer version of the android app called Facebook Lite. The app is aimed at developing countries like Southeast Asia, Africa, Bangladesh and others that works on slow data plans or outdated phones.
Facebook Lite has been launched in Bangladesh, Nepal and Nigeria. and will roll-out today in Asia, parts of Latin America, Africa and Europe in the coming weeks. The app is aimed at bringing billions of users onboard in the developing countries. However, the app will not offer data-intensive features like videos or nearby friends, but the app will be accessible in any remote corner of the world.
“App reviews suggest that people want it in their countries,” said Vijay Shankar, product manager of Facebook Lite.
Shankar said that the research team spent a lot of ground work in Africa, Indonesia and India, and discovered that the solution needed three things: To work on any Android phone, To load fast even on 2G connections and To use as little data as possible. Facebook Lite has gained more than 50,000 reviews with a rating of more than four stars though most of the reviews were asking on when the app will come to their country. However, some people are using VPNs to trick Google Play, to download the app.
Facebook began its global rollout on Friday, and it will released to America and Europe in the coming weeks. The app which is less than 1MB in size will use less data to display low-res thumbnails, and will load in full-res if it is tapped. The app might not feature ads as advertisers will not be willing to show their ads in low-res. Facebook aims to reach the 2 million user target in the social networking site, and the company added that it is not taking this new commitment to the developing world lightly.
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