Facebook Lite Released For Poor Internet Connections

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FB Lite Android app
Facebook Lite on a small Android phone. Image obtained with thanks from Facebook.

Many modern apps have been designed with a serious lack of consideration for users’ data bills and poor Internet connections. Based on their designs, their developers assume that the majority of their users are very fortunate to have 3G or 4G technology. Most of their users will be fortunate, because underprivileged phone users will not be able to use them. Today’s apps opportunistically consume bandwidth like mosquitoes — They never stop.

FB Lite Android app
Facebook Lite on a small Android phone.
Image obtained with thanks from Facebook.

When I got my first Android phone, I left mobile data on for a while. The results were shocking. My $5 of phone credit vanished in only a couple of days, and I wasn’t using the phone at the time. Imagine having your money fly out the window like that when you’re not even using the phone. That’s unacceptable. Thankfully, Google has been trying to encourage app developers to cut back on unnecessary bandwidth usage. Fortunately, people with DSL technology can use Wi-Fi only while they’re at home to lower their mobile data usage.

In addition to that, Facebook has released Facebook Lite for regions with limited Internet access. This release is much-needed in regions with limited or no Internet access, such as India (which has an Internet penetration rate of 20%), Rwanda (which has a penetration rate of 8%), and many others. Internet users in some of these regions have only 2G connections, and low-end phones lacking processing power.

Vijay Shankar, product manager for Facebook Lite said:

‘More than a billion people around the world access Facebook from a range of mobile devices on varying networks. In many areas, networks can be slow and not able to support all the functionality found in Facebook for Android. Facebook Lite was built for these situations, giving people a reliable Facebook experience when bandwidth is at a minimum.’

Facebook Lite Android app being used for photography.
Facebook Lite being used to take a photo. Image obtained with thanks from Facebook.

Sluggish and unreliable performance aren’t the only issues at play in this case. The greatest issue at play is the cost of data plans. The data usage of a modern Android smartphone is very high. This means that you can’t just cease/minimize your phone usage if you’re in a terrible financial situation. It is going to keep eating away at your funds unless you switch off mobile data completely. One solution is to uninstall apps that you don’t use, as most of them will try to update automatically (even if you don’t launch them).