Facebook Head of Products (Facebook Lite) Vijay Shankar said the product has been “built ground up for markets like India” where internet speeds are slow. Google launched a similar service for search in India a few weeks back.
Facebook Lite will feature all core functions of the standard app like news feed, messaging, photos, links and
notifications among others but will now show videos on the news feed. It also allows users to select the quality of images they see on their news feed to optimise data consumption.
“In India, over 80 per cent of the users are on 2G network. We have worked on improving the apps performance even on spotty connections and across devices from entry-level devices to high-end ones,” Shankar said.
Facebook Lite will be rolled out in other markets in coming weeks, he added. Both Facebook Lite and the standard Facebook app will work on a single device at the same time.
Meanwhile, Facebook announced that it added 13 million users in six months to take its user base in India to 125 million, its second-biggest market globally. Globally, it has 1.44 billion monthly active users as of March 31, 2015 with the US as its biggest market.
“In India, Facebook has 125 million average users (MAU), while the number of mobile MAUs stands at 114 million. On a daily basis, 59 million users in India are accessing Facebook and 53 million are accessing us from their mobile phones,” Shankar said.