Facebook Lite, a stripped-down version of the original Facebook app, has now reached the milestone of 100 million monthly active users. The app was released for entry-level Android devices in January last year and was debuted in India in last June.
With the new achievement, Facebook considers that the app is its “fastest-growing” version. Although it’s already available in 150 countries around the world, the social networking giant is claiming its highest popularity in Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico and the Philippines.
The new record is quite big for Facebook Lite as it encouraged over a hundred million users in the last nine months. However, it’s just a small pie in the large size userbase of 1.59 billion monthly active users.
Facebook Lite offers the same experience that the social network delivers on its website but with the small impact. Its APK file is less than 1MB in size. This means that you can install it on a cheap Android device that doesn’t have a quad-core or a hexa-core processor or a gig of memory.
To reduce the size of the APK, Facebook team provided a simple VM through the Lite client and the app package doesn’t have the entire product code and resources. “The Lite architecture is designed to let the server side do the heavy lifting, which enables the app to work well on very low-powered devices, like the LG Optimus ME,” Facebook’s software engineer Gaurav Roy explains in a blog post.
In addition to reducing the file size, Facebook deployed a custom message protocol over TLS to enable operations on 2G networks. The app also uses a proprietary image server to enable fast loading of images.
“With Facebook Lite, our goal is to provide the best possible Facebook experience to everyone, no matter their device or connection,” Roy added.
Now with new features, too
Facebook Lite was initially designed to offer just some core features of the social network. But now, it has been updated with new additions such as support for video, multiple photo uploads, pinch-to-zoom for photos and emojis among others.
You can experience Facebook Lite along with the new features by downloading its latest version from Google Play Store. The app is compatible with all Android devices that are running on at least Android 2.2 Froyo.
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