Last year Facebook engineers made a trip to Africa, where they experienced first-hand what it’s like to use their app on networks with low bandwidth in the wild. This lead to a cut-down version of the app and today they’ve gone even further releasing Facebook Lite for a limited market.
The Facebook Lite app is a cut-down version of the full-featured app, which is based on a simplified version of their mobile website. Facebook Lite is cut-down in both features as well as size, clocking in at a miniscule 250KB in size. While they’ve cut some features out, the app still contains Push notifications and camera integration.
The new app follows Android’s expansion into a number of developing markets, with Google’s Android One launching in India in September, before expanding to Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka late last year. It’s in these latter countries where Facebook has chosen to trial their app launching in Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka, as well as in Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, Vietnam and Zimbabwe as a test. If testing goes well Facebook could expand further, but according to Tech Crunch they wouldn’t commit to anything beyond the initial launch.
While you can’t download the app from Google Play due to geo-restrictions, you can download the APK and check it out for yourself here :