Facebook unveils 'lite' app in SA

2015-01-27 07:47
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Facebook. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

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Washington - Facebook said on Monday it is testing a lightweight version of its mobile app for mobile phones with poor-quality internet connections in emerging markets.

A spokesperson said in an email that the Facebook Lite Android app is designed "for people on 2G (second-generation) connections or in areas of limited Internet accessibility".

The move expands Facebook's efforts to grow the world's biggest social network, which already has more than a billion users.

Most of Facebook's growth is coming from emerging markets, but many people lack the phones or computers needed for the full-featured app.

The "lite" version can allow users with low-cost Android handsets to quickly load Facebook feeds and photos.

Technology news website TechCrunch said the app was launch in several countries in Asia and Africa over the weekend, including South Africa, Bangladesh, Nepal, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.

Facebook has previously launched a version of its service for people with simple mobile phones.

The social network has launched a project called Internet.org to help bring connectivity to underserved regions of the world.

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