Facebook Lite app targets low end phones in emerging markets

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Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has released a ‘lite’ version of its mobile app that will allow people with slow Internet connections to access the popular social network.

The Facebook Lite app is only 250KB in size and has been designed to be used on low end phones on “2G networks and areas with limited network connectivity.”

TechCrunch is reporting the soft launch of the app in a number of countries including Bangladesh, Nepal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Vietnam and Zimbabwe, where 2G networks are more commonly used.

The Facebook Lite app is available on Android 2.2 devices and above is based on Facebook’s Snaptu phone client.

The app which is available in the Google Play Store has already been downloaded more than 10,000 times.

Facebook lite app

 

The release of the Facebook Lite app is latest in a number of attempts by the social network giant to further establish itself in emerging markets around the world, where Internet connections are generally slower and not as widely available.

In 2013, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg helped launch Internet.org, an initiative which aims to make Internet access be more readily available to people in developing countries.

Internet.org also provides an app to people living in developing countries that offers access to Facebook, Google Search, Wikipedia, Go Zambia, and AccuWeather.

It is estimated that 85% of the population live in areas with cellular coverage but less than 30% of the population access the internet.

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