Is today is low-bandwidth and slow internet celebration day? Because after Google officially announced YouTube Go, the Youtube app for offline use and low bandwidth consumption, Facebook is following up with a bit of news from its Lite app.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg shared that Facebook Lite now has more than 200 million users. The app was released in January of 2015 as a solution for users with less capable phones, less bandwidth, and slower internet connections. Even though Lite feels like nothing but a wrapper for the Facebook site, it has native Android notifications which you can still get with Chrome from the Facebook site, and more permission requests than you can shake a stick at, but on the upside, it weighs less than 2MB, works on 2G network speeds, and is compatible with devices going as far back as Android 2.3 Gingerbread.
When it was released, our comments section was filled with people complaining about the app's slowness and lag. That doesn't seem to have changed based on the latest feedback on the Play Store. It also looks like some functions, like reactions to posts, have recently disappeared. But then again, 200 million users is nothing to scoff at. Clearly, for those who suffer from limited bandwidth and connection speeds or use older phones, Facebook Lite is striking a balance that works. Good on it then. These are probably 200 million users who would be checking Facebook a lot less or maybe not at all if Lite didn't exist.
- Sheryl Sandberg