As the world knows that India has a large number of Internet users, however, the country lags behind in providing them a decent Internet speed. Therefore, Facebook has launched a new version of its Lite Android app for the 2G users or the travelling users with poor network connection.
“According to GSMA data, nearly 80 percent of Indians are on 2G and hence we want to ease the Facebook interactive experience for them,” said Vijay Shankar, product manager, Facebook Lite.
“There was a demand for this product and we decided to do our research and development before developing a separate app that will cater to the demand and also update itself as time goes by,” Shankar said.
According to the social media giant, Facebook Lite app is meant for the users in such a location where bandwidth is at a minimum. There are many areas where network could be slow and it not able to support all the functionality found in Facebook for Android, it said.
The Lite app is a less than 1 MB in size and it can be downloaded from the Play Store. The app uses a compression technology wherein most of the heavy lifting is done on Facebook’s servers.
Explaining the technology, Shankar said, “Lite can run on phones with lower hardware specs as the cache is smaller in size and also the app does not consume much memory on the device.”
Facebook has added core experiences like News Feed, status updates, photos, notifications but has no options for video, GPS-using facilities and @tagging features; in the new app.
“We did not add video as we want to take no risk with it. Usually, GPS takes up a lot of data so we choose to keep that away too,” Shankar explained. “Lite is in line with Facebook’s strategy to connect the next billion people in the country.”
Currently, the social media site has around 125 million users across the country, which makes India Facebook’s second biggest market. The app was tested in other developing markets before it was launched in India, Shankar added.