Facebook is looking to double-down on smartphones in developing countries and in doing so, the company has created an app for its social network that they are calling Facebook Lite to function particularly well on 2G networks. Right now, the Facebook Lite app is only available in select countries, all of which exclude the United States – but is targeting lower-end Android devices which are common in countries like Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Zimbabwe. This is really just a stripped down version of the social networking app that users have come to love and use frequently with most Android devices here in the United States.
While, this is only the first version, and the first release of the Facebook Lite app, it would be expected that this type of application would also begin finding its way to American devices as well, since a stripped down version might be something many individuals find useful. Ultimately, this first edition features some basic features like camera integration, push notifications, and even instant messaging. Most-interestingly though, Facebook including their messaging feature within the lower-grade app is definitely something that many users would find intriguing. Currently, many Facebook users have voiced concerns and outrage over the fact that Facebook required users to download a secondary app if they wanted to continue enjoying Facebook Messenger. However, the company defended the move noting that with the specialization that was becoming necessary and apparent within the messaging system – an upgrade and separation was obviously going to be necessary.
This though is something that clearly has a significant interest in Facebook. Last year they worked with some other tech companies to launch Internet.org, which is a project that works to bring the Internet connection to the 5 billion people around the world who don’t have an Internet connection. The project utilizes satellites, drones, and a few other unmanned technologies to help bring the Internet to those individuals who currently do not have access to a number of reasons, like being in too rural of a location. All of this clearly indicates the company’s serious interest in making their product more readily available to those who currently are either operating on smaller, less powerful networks – or those who don’t have networks at all.