Facebook Lite Goes Live to Capitalize on International Growth — and Simplicity

Facebook has just launched a new version of the site, called Lite, to give users a simplified, faster-loading experience than the traditional www.facebook.com. The company has said it’s intended to help new users, especially people with with poor internet connections, have a better experience than they have had so far. The app is only live in the US and India, according to Facebook developer Blake Ross, but a worldwide rollout doesn’t seem too far away.

As anyone who has tried to access Facebook on a slow connection already knows, features like photos can take forever to load, or even not load at all.

But more generally, the design aesthetic of Lite is appealing. The news feed includes a simple top toolbar, just items from your friends and a few obvious buttons for posting updates or media. The profile page is similarly bare. However, there’s no bottom toolbar for any third-party apps. There are currently only a few crucial in-house apps available. Facebook’s own Photo and Video apps are located within the profile page, while Events is available in the top toolbar.

Facebook | Home-2

Lite became available as a beta test last month. As a Facebook spokesperson described it to us, then:

Similar to the Facebook experience you get on your mobile phones, Facebook “Lite” is a fast-loading, simplified version of Facebook that enables people to make comments, accept Friend requests, write on people’s Walls, and look at photos and Status updates. We are currently testing Facebook Lite in countries where we are seeing lots of new users coming to Facebook for the first time and are looking to start off with a more simple experience.

Facebook is currently seeing massive growth around the world. The company says some 70 percent of its more than 250 million users are from outside the US. Countries in Southeast Asia and Europe are seeing especially notable growth. Of those, some 65 million are already accessing the site on their phone.

Facebook | Eric Eldon

Facebook’s previous logic for serving international users makes sense. But, of course, you can access the site from anywhere in the world now. So if you’re on a fast internet connection somewhere — and you just like a minimalistic feel for your web services — well, you can use it, too. That is what some US users are planning to do. Indeed, the reaction from US users has prompted Facebook to release it intentionally for US users, something it hadn’t previously planned on doing.

I’m asking Facebook what the long-term plan is for Lite. If this version of the site becomes significantly popular, third-party developers are likely to wonder how they can start accessing users through it.

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26 Responses to “Facebook Lite Goes Live to Capitalize on International Growth — and Simplicity”

  1. Facebook goes lite says:

    [...] Via InsideFacebook Facebook has just launched a new version of the site, called Lite, to give users a simplified, faster-loading experience than the traditional http://www.facebook.com. The company has said it’s intended to help new users, especially people with with poor internet connections, have a better experience than they have had so far. The app is only live in the US and India, according to Facebook developer Blake Ross, but a worldwide rollout doesn’t seem too far away. [...]

  2. Facebook Lite Reveals Bigger Changes Afoot says:

    [...] Facebook Lite is a simplified version of the site, and it just came out of beta for the English-speaking Facebook world today. Although Lite is primarily intended for users with slow internet connections, it also reflects large-scale design changes that Facebook is gradually in the process of making. [...]

  3. Facebook unveils a lighter version : TechVi: Technology matters. says:

    [...] rumored lighter version of Facebook is now available for preview in the United States and India.  The new version’s primary purpose, according to Inside [...]

  4. Chris Meadows says:

    I’ve heard all about this “lite.facebook.com” thing that is supposed to be less cluttered.

    But when I go to lite.facebook.com, it redirects to http://www.facebook.com and nothing looks different.

    What’s up with that?

  5. jardenberg kommenterar – 2009-09-11 — jardenberg unedited says:

    [...] Facebook Lite Goes Live to Capitalize on International Growth — and Simplicity [...]

  6. Todd says:

    Jesus, why are you still using increased letter-spacing in your post body? Whatever you’re getting in return for reduced legibility isn’t worth it.

  7. Facebook Lite goes live | Geekword says:

    [...] has launched a lite version of its site. It will give users a simplified, faster-loading experience than the [...]

  8. Tele Sutra: Telecom, IT and Digital Media» Facebook goes Twitter way! says:

    [...] out to more end users. The app is only live in the US and India, according to Facebook developer Blake Ross, but a worldwide rollout doesn’t seem too far [...]

  9. StraightUpSocial News Links for 9/11/2009 « StraightUpSocial says:

    [...] Facebook Lite Goes Live to Capitalize on International Growth – and Simplicity [...]

  10. t3n-Linktipps: Chrome-Extensions, Facebook-Lite, Blogger vs Unternehmen, Freiheit statt Angst und TechCrunch reingelegt » t3n News says:

    [...] knapp einem Monat hatte Facebook eine Lite-Version der eigenen Plattform angekündigt, die jetzt online gegangen ist – zumindest in den USA und Indien. Wir müssen uns noch mit einem Screencast [...]

  11. Соціальна мережа Facebook стала доступна в полегшеній версії | "КУ!" - Інтернет журнал says:

    [...] повідомляє ресурс Inside Facebook, була запущена полегшена версія соціальної мережі [...]

  12. 5Words for Friday, September 11th 2009 | Technologizer says:

    [...] Facebook Lite: Facebook, only liter. [...]

  13. Facebook Lite: Slim and Trim and Worth a Try says:

    [...] Eric Eldon’s review at Inside Facebook points out one fact you’ll either love or hate “The profile page is similarly bare. However, there’s no bottom toolbar for any third-party apps. There are currently only a few crucial in-house apps available.” [...]

  14. winandmac.com » Facebook Lite may help to reach a new group of users says:

    [...] [via Inside Facebook] [...]

  15. Jeff host says:

    Facebook is full of spammers now

  16. t3n-Linktipps: Chrome-Extensions, Facebook-Lite, Blogger vs Unternehmen, Freiheit statt Angst und TechCrunch reingelegt « All in one Blog says:

    [...] knapp einem Monat hatte Facebook eine Lite-Version der eigenen Plattform angekündigt, die jetzt online gegangen ist – zumindest in den USA und Indien. Wir müssen uns noch mit einem Screencast [...]

  17. Facebook Launches Lite | DUOWAN says:

    [...] accepting friend requests, looking at photos, updating statuses, and writing on walls. According to Facebook’s own numbers, roughly 70-percent of its users are located outside of the [...]

  18. winandmac 香港版 | Facebook推簡化版可望吸新一批用家 says:

    [...] [來源:Inside Facebook] [...]

  19. click.logg | Facebook lancia Lite, Twitter si apre alla pubblicità says:

    [...] Insidefacebook, Twitter [...]

  20. Facebook lancia "Facebook Lite" - Commenta la tecnologia, la telefonia, i software says:

    [...] Via | Insidefacebook.com [...]

  21. Facebook Rolls Out ‘Facebook Lite’ – News and Analysis by PC Magazine « YOU NAME IT… says:

    [...] Facebook’s own numbers, roughly 70-percent of its users are located outside of the U.S. Originally posted to AppScout. [...]

  22. New features in Facebook…old to twitter | The Internet Database says:

    [...] status updates by inserting an @ symbol before a friend’s name. Facebook has also started testing a “lite” version of its site that removes some of the clutter and makes it all look a little simpler — a little [...]

  23. Weekly Digest for September 14th | Richard McKay says:

    [...] Facebook Lite Goes Live to Capitalize on International Growth — and Simplicity [...]

  24. FACEBOOK naujienos ir patarimai #5 | PDFONTOUR tinklaraštis says:

    [...] jau bandėte naująją FACEBOOK Lite versiją? Jei ne ir norite tai padaryti, nusistatykite savo kalbą į ENGLISH ir pirmyn į [...]

  25. New Facebook Beta Home Page Looks a Little Liter says:

    [...] looks simpler, and not so different from Facebook Lite, the site it introduced in August, that it originally described as a faster-loading version designed for users with slow internet [...]

  26. gaba online says:

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