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2G-friendly Facebook Lite launches in India

by Bharath ChowdaryJune 29, 2015

Facebook has finally launched Facebook Lite app for Android devices in India, as move to improve its product penetration in emerging markets across the globe.

Starting with India and Philippines, users will now be able to download and use the new app directly from the Play Store.

The app has been on the Google Play store since January but is now usable in India, Vijay Shankar, Product Manager for Facebook Lite said in Bangalore.

Facebook Lite, which is currently in version 1, will feature all core functions of the standard app like news feed, messaging, photos, links, notifications etc. On the other hand the app currently does not support video. “We will get to video soon,” said Shankar.

facebook-lite-screenshots

The social media giant has taken care of most problems faced by smartphone users in emerging markets like app size, data usage and application performance across devices. The company claims that the new app, which is less than 1 Mb in size, has a much lower data usage and performs better across devices and networks.

“In India over 80% of the users are on 2G network. We have worked on improving the apps performance even on spotty connections and across devices from entry-spec devices to high-end ones,” said Shankar.

The app has been in development for over a year and the team has been testing the app across markets in Africa and Asia for the past six months before taking it public. “During the development phase, the team behind the app spent a lot of time on the ground traveling across India to test and check performance of the app,” he said.

Facebook Lite will be rolled out in other markets across Asia, Europe and Latin America in the coming weeks. Both Facebook Lite and the standard Facebook app will work on a single device at the same time. The company has over 125 million monthly active users in India.

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