What is Facebook Lite?
Social networking giant Facebook is reportedly in the midst of a major test of their ability to adapt to a changing internet.
They are working on something called Facebook Lite — a slimmed down version of the popular Facebook web phenomenon. By creating a “lite” version of their page, Facebook is attempting to appeal to mobile users and parts of the world where broadband service and other fast internet speeds are simply not available.
So what is Facebook Lite? Right now it is hard to say — not many people have even seen it. According to Facebook, Lite will feature a stripped down user interface (similar to the current version of their social network service) that will also feature quicker load times.
According to various reports coming in from tech bloggers and the few who have seen some of the Lite service, this “diet Facebook” service will look much like Facebook’s incredibly popular current incarnation of their “mobile” version — Lite offers only basic fucntions in order to speed up the load time. We’ve all used Facebook on a slower connection before and experienced the frustration that comes with it.
What can you expect to do with Facebook Lite? Simple commands and uses, like making comments, writing on Walls, viewing member’s photos, and accepting friend requests. Sounds a bit spare doesn’t it? That’s okay — most of the time I only need to do a few small things via Facebook. I don’t always have to send private messages or take a million graphics-heavy quizzes.
The new bare bones design of Facebook Lite would feature a single column display of posts on Walls, and apparently has three clickable items at the top of the screen that would allow you to leave messages or even post pictures and video. Not so bare bones after all, eh? According to one reviewer who has seen a page grab of Lite, there are four links on the left of the screen, under where your profile picture would be, that read “Wall,” “Info,” “Friends,” and “Photos and Video.”
How did we find out about something that is fairly secretive? Pilot error — the news of Facebook Lite broke due to a mistake. Late on Tuesday night, Facebook accidentally invited thousands of regular members to try out the new Facebook Lite service. Fortunately for Facebook, users that were not meant to be included in the test were quickly rerouted to the standard Facebook page or simply told they are unable to access the Lite site.
Popular tech blog TechCrunch posted about the Facebook mixup on Wednesday, saying it got an official response from Facebook about the Lite mistake. The statement read, in part — “This evening, the test [of Facebook Lite] was temporarily exposed to a larger set of users by mistake. We have not opened up access to lite.facebook.com to all users at this time. People who are not part of the test and are trying to access “Lite” will be directed to Facebook.com as usual.”
The big idea behind Facebook Lite is one of equal opportunity, something I support in full. By creating an easy to load Lite service, Facebook makes social networking available to parts of the world where broadband Internet simply doesn’t exist. Realize that the “basic” Facebook page is now a feature and broadband rich page that sometimes even weighs down my seriously ridiculous high speed wireless connection. The brains at Facebook have created an experience that will entice the few users of the Internet who haven’t already taken the social networking hemlock.