There Are Now 200 Million People Using Facebook Lite

Facebook Lite has officially passed the 200 million user mark, according to Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, and the app is also in the midst of rolling out a new update meant to bring some speed and stability improvements to make it even more friendly to low-end devices and those on slower networks. Facebook Lite is still not officially available in many countries, including some of the more developed ones that typically have higher mobile network speeds, but the APK is available to anybody willing to look for it; with the amount of downloads in the Play Store standing at an ambiguous 100 million to 500 million, Sandberg did not specifically mention if the sideloading crowd was part of the 200 million user figure.

As for the update, not much information is given in the Play Store, aside from the fact that users can expect a quicker, more stable experience. Since the app is essentially a web wrapper for the mobile browser version of Facebook with Android sharing intents and notification features baked in, the stability and speed fixes in question are likely per-device tweaks for devices that are commonly detected using the app, especially lower-end and older devices that may sometimes crash or experience slowdown in otherwise normal operation. This logical leap is bolstered by the fact that the Play Store feeds different versions of the app to different devices.

Facebook Lite has only been around since June of 2015, but has already proven a popular alternative to the official Facebook app, long decried as bloated and unwieldy, and to unofficial Facebook apps that may suffer from issues, lack some essential features in the wake of Facebook closing off many third-party APIs in the past, or even become abandoned by their developers. The app is still available in a limited number of countries, mostly emerging markets like Nepal or places like Brazil, where the story of Altiery Montero takes place. Sandberg recounted the story, one of a business owner whose photography business was boosted by Facebook Lite, to point out the app's usefulness for slow networks, and the fact that it lacks relatively few features compared to the official Facebook app.

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