Facebook can be painfully slow on weak network connections or prohibitively expensive on stingy data plans that are common in India, Africa, and Southeast Asia. So Facebook has launched a bare-bones, low-resolution version of its Android app that works well on crummy networks or outdated phones, and burns much less data than its normal smartphone apps. It will roll out today in Asia, and come to parts of Latin America, Africa, and Europe in the coming weeks.
Facebook Lite is designed specifically for the developing world to help the social network on-board its next billion users. Facebook Lite doesn’t offer data-intensive features like videos or nearby friends. But if users are willing to accept that and lower-resolution image thumbnails, they can access Facebook quick, smooth, and cheap from the most remote corners of the planet.