Data-sipping Facebook Lite gets ready for the big time as it plans global spread
Smartphone manufacturers have been making it easier than ever for people to stay connected; even for those of us who can’t afford a full-fledged computer, or for whom such a thing would be impractical, they can offer a cost-effective solution. That’s just one reason why smartphone growth has been so huge in the developing world. But while access to this level of technology may be improving, the hardware and software are just part of the equation, and even the most affordable phone isn’t much use without access to data services. Despite the rise of high-speed 4G, in many areas of the world connectivity is still highly limited, and developers are doing what they can to extract the most out of scarce resources. Today Facebook steps up its latest effort along those lines, formally announcing Facebook Lite.
Facebook Lite is an Android app designed with economy of data consumption in mind. For use when high-speed data can’t be guaranteed, the app endeavors to give users a familiar Facebook experience without killing your connection trying to download every high-res photo or HD video your friends post.
Sound familiar? It should, because we first saw the app go live all the way back in January. Problem was, availability was super limited back then, constrained to just a handful of nations. With today’s announcement, Facebook clarifies its global intentions for the app, with availability starting in Asia and spreading to Europe, Africa, and Latin America in the weeks to come.