If you are a Facebook user chances are you have also installed the Facebook app on your mobile phone. For many Android users they will find that the Facebook app is heavy and resource-intensive. It sucks up a lot of the battery life and data bandwidth. And if you are using Facebook Messenger, you will need to install an additional app for the messaging function. For those who are using a low-specced Android phone, or just want to save your data bandwidth while using Facebook, you can now try out Facebook Lite.
Facebook Lite is a newly released app by Facebook that uses less data and works in all network conditions. It is lightweight (the app is less than 1MB) and designed for 2G networks and areas with limited network connectivity.
Similar to the Tinfoil app that we reviewed earlier, Facebook Lite is simply a wrapper of its mobile web site. However, one thing that makes it different is that it comes with native notification so you don’t miss an alert or update.
According to M2 App Insight who have done studies on the performance of Facebook Lite, they discovered that Facebook Lite indeed uses 50% less battery (as compared to the standard Facebook app) and mobile data.
Installing Facebook Lite is tricky. While it is listed in Google Play Store, it can only be installed in a small variety of phones. I have at least five Android devices on my list, and I can’t install Facebook Lite on any of them.
You can try your luck in the Play Store (try searching for it in the Play Store on your mobile device, and if the app doesn’t show up in the list that means your device is not in the “Installable” list). If this doesn’t work for you the next alternative is to download the apk file from AndroidPolice’s apkmirror website.
Note: you will have to enable “Install apps from unknown source” in order to install Facebook Lite apk.
After the download you can tap on the apk file to install it. Do note that it will offer a big list of permissions.
Running Facebook Lite
On the first run, it will prompt you to select the Language.
Next will be the login screen.
Lastly, it will get you to find your friends from your contact list which you can skip.
The interface is a stripped-down version of the official Facebook app and with a predominantly white background. The default font size is ‘Medium” which can appear small on a phone with a big screen. Luckily you can change the font size to Large in the Settings.
The loading speed is fast, and it doesn’t take up much memory
compared to the Facebook app:
With a stripped-down version, it is obvious that some of the main app features have to go. One thing that is missing is the in-app browser. When you click on a link in your news feed, it will load in the device’s default browser instead, which can be slow in some cases.
On the other hand, messaging workd natively in Facebook Lite, so you don’t have to install a separate Messenger app.
While updating your status you can easily upload photos, add your location, etc., so there aren’t as many differences as the main app.
While Facebook Lite is meant for a low-specced Android phone, and/or phone with only 2G connection, it works well on all of my Android devices, some of which are quite well-specced. If you hate that the main Facebook app is taking up too much of your data bandwidth and memory resources, as well as draining your battery, do give the Facebook Lite app a try. I am sure you will like it.