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Facebook Lite Surpasses 100 Million Users

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Ever since Facebook’s establishment in 2004, it has become one of the most sought after social networking portal across multiple countries. Recently, the marketer leader, Facebook, was the prime social network to surpass one billion registered accounts. With more than 1.55 billion monthly active users in 2016, Facebook is definitely the giant in the social networking market.

Seeing the reach of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook lite, a lighter version of Facebook last June and the response is amazingly great! This stripped down version of Facebook has officially become the fastest growing version of the blue themed social networking site. This android app became the fastest Facebook version to hit the 100 million monthly active users. Built from scratch so that it works smoothly irrespective of the poor data connections and low-quality phones. The best thing about this app is its size. As a download, Facebook Lite is less than 1 MB as compared to that of the amount of space the regular Facebook takes up which is approximately 195 MB. This is a huge, huge difference! Launched in 2015, it has gained immense popularity and success. With more than 100 million monthly users, this lighter version of Facebook has been rolled out in over 150 countries. India, Brazil, Philippines and Mexico have the maximum users of this app. 



Aim of Facebook Lite

1. The sole aim of introducing Facebook Lite is to reach people who don’t have access to 3G or 4G networks and have slow functioning mobiles.

“More than 1.6 billion people today do not have access to 3G and 4G. So, when you jump between networks, we wanted to make sure that we could provide a seamless experience, no matter the connection or the band,” Vijay Shankar, head of Lite project of Facebook for more than 18 months. 

2. To ensure the success of Facebook Lite, it did not have videos and there is no need for the users to download Facebook Messenger separately. One of the notable things is that there is no pre-loading in Facebook Lite unlike Facebook. Rather, it downloads low-resolution versions of images while you scroll through in your timeline. But when you tap on the image you want to see, then only it will download the higher resolution version of that image. This data efficient Facebook is growing its base in India at lightspeed.

3. After extensive research in India, this app was developed accordingly since India is Facebook’s second largest market in the world after the USA. One of the customization is that India has polyglot population and therefore, this app is available in over 56 languages to enable localisation. According to the research, there was demand for videos and people using both the apps, switching to Lite when they were on a 2G network. Users get seamless experience when they change their networks and no matter how poor the network is, they will still have a good experience.

“We actually reduced the app startup time and made it 25% faster — which is a pretty significant reduction. And that’s even on slow networks,” he added.

4. Understanding the needs of the emerging economies especially India, the app-enabled several multimedia-rich features which include more efficient multi-photo uploads, emojis, a quick start-up time and pinch to zoom photos. Along with these features, there is lower-resolution videos reducing the data consumption.

Nine months after launching this app, Facebook is up for investing heavily on the Lite app. The reason being saturated markets of US and China. Since India is now one of the fastest emerging countries in the world, hence, there is lots of scope for success in Indian markets. Therefore, with Lite, Mark Zuckerberg aimed to cater to users who were keen to keep their data usage and consumption least.

With the growing demands for Facebook Lite, they app developers of Facebook will be adding one new feature to this app. The ‘Play Later’ feature will allow users to download a video in the background and get notified once the downloading is done.

Facebook Lite could manage to become a huge part of the company’s strategy in order to increase its user base after the exit of much controversial Free Basics of Facebook in India which violated the principles of net neutrality. Talking about experimentation among internet company, Facebook is not the only one in the race. In November, the homegrown e-commerce site, Flipkart launched Flipkart Lite. Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal tapped the trend of the users and launched the Lite version of Flipkart which ensured smooth usage experience to its customers.

If you are too worried about the data usage but still cannot control yourself from being a Facebook addict, Facebook Lite is for you. Share with us how you liked this new app introduced by Facebook in the comment box below. Well, if you still haven’t tried, here is the link:

Sakshi is a content marketer during the day and a reader by night. She writes content sprinkled with a twisted imagination. She has done her graduation in psychology from Delhi University and has an insane love for history.

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