Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has introduced a new version of its Facebook app in India. The new Application called Facebook Lite performs faster and consumes less data.
The company designed the new app specifically for regions where internet speeds are low, data is expensive, and particularly to cater for such areas where the user population is heavy. In India, more than 125 million people use the social network. The social media giant wants to boost the number of sign-ups in the country and, therefore, the need for an application that is friendlier on data consumption as well as offering bearable buffer speeds.
Vijay Shankar, head of products at Facebook announced that the application will be 430 kb in size, making it considerably smaller than the original version of the app. He also revealed that the application will consume less data and will be faster. The extremely small size of the application makes one wonder what the application will not be able to achieve compared to the original app.
Facebook Lite will host most of the main features found on the regular application including status updates, notification, photos and News Feed. Shankar added that a few other features such as direct replies to individual comments and videos are still in development. The application was launched in India earlier this week. Facebook claims that many people have already downloaded the application so far.
Many data users in the world are still limited to the slow 2G networks. In India, about 874 million people still use 2G data. This translates to roughly 80% of the country’s population. Facebook Lite will be a significant tool to bring more of this population onto the social network. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) Lite has already been introduced in a few other countries. According to Shankar, India is a good example of the challenges that other emerging markets have been facing.
The application has been in development over the past one year and has been developed after a lot of market research. Features such as the ability to lower picture resolution for faster loading are some of the adjustments made to customize the app for optimum performance.