Facebook has quietly introduced a standalone app for low-end Android devices. The app, referred to a Facebook Lite, first came to existence in 2009 but nothing huge came out of it until now. It was launched on Google Play Store on January 20 in select markets in Africa and Asia. These include Bangladesh, Nepal, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.
Unfortunately, Kenya is not on the list but we are meant to understand that this app is still being tested and will roll out to other markets later.
Read: Airtel Partners With Facebook to Give Kenyans Free Internet Access
This standalone app is made to be small at only 252KB in size and already has over 10,000 downloads. What makes this app perfect for emerging markets is that it loads faster and uses less data when compared to Facebook’s main app. According to TechCrunch, this app is based on Facebook’s photo client, Snaptu, but still has Facebook’s native Android features that include camera integration and push notifications.
Facebook is obviously keen to provide internet services to emerging market and this is just proof of that. Launching Facebook Lite on Android is strategic for the company since most people in emerging markets use Android. Only time will tell how successful this app will be.
Personally, am waiting for the app to be available in Kenya so that I can have a look at it.