Ever trying to scroll through your Facebook news feed when your phone decides to go slow-motion? Facebook Lite was designed by the social media giant as a solution to allow users with a slow internet connection or low-performance phone to use their services without slowing down their device.
The Android app was initially released in developing countries, where connectivity is often an issue, and 2G is still commonly used. The app takes up less than 2MB and requires barely any data to tun, compared with regular the Facebook platform which requires closer to 60MB.
If you could confidently say that you’re a little addicted to Facebook and are concerned about how much you’re spending on your data package every month, then Facebook Lite is a foolproof way to cut back on your usage and save some pennies. It comes with Messenger Lite too, which is in many ways preferable to regular Facebook Messenger.
Here we’ll go over the key advantages of Facebook Lite, as well as the drawbacks, and finally come to answer the burning question – should you still install Facebook Lite if data usage isn’t a concern for you?
Facebook Lite app is like an old model Ford car – it has an air of sentimentality about it. It doesn’t have the sleek design or bubble icons, or the shadows and interactive responses that regular Facebook has. This is to save on data usage – all those animations on regular Facebook are more of a burden to load and thus slow down your device.
Facebook Lite also doesn’t automatically load pictures in your news feed – instead, it previews a low-resolution copy of the image and then downloads a high-quality version only if you click on it. The same applies to videos, which will only auto-play when you’re connected to Wi-Fi – again, this is to preserve as much data usage as possible.
Even when uploading photos, the files are first compressed and then uploaded in the background so that you can carry on scrolling through your news feed and not have to get stuck on the upload page.
While most of the key features of Facebook remain, some of the more fun ones of the current version of regular Facebook are missing. Facebook Lite has none of the bouncy animations of regular Facebook: There are no indications that someone is typing a comment, and no emojis jumping out of the screen in fits of laughter when you LOL-face something.
All this toning down on animations and glossy pop-up emojis will, however, make the app run like an Olympic athlete being chased by a tiger. This is the main draw of Facebook Lite, alongside the retro vibe it gives off.
Facebook Lite vs Facebook
As we’ve covered, the foundation of Facebook Lite is that it uses significantly less data while loading pages much quicker than its more accomplished older brother. However, the advantages of Lite don’t end there, it’s worth looking over some of the other differences between the two.
First and foremost, the logo for the two apps is different. The Facebook Lite logo is a blue F on a white background, rather than the original which is the other way around. It’s also just titled Lite on your homepage, not Facebook Lite.
Facebook Lite still retains most of the features of the original app. The main difference on the outside is the stripped down interface, which resembles an older version of Facebook. The buttons are also much more blocky and mechanical looking. The notifications, messages and friend requests tabs are all neatly lined up at the top of the screen alongside the status update bar and your friends’ avatars will appear as a square rather than a circle in the news feed. No cutting corners there.
In short, after using Facebook Lite for a week, you’d probably have forgotten there are any differences at all. On top of this, the lack of animations and pop-up features provide fewer distractions when using it.
Facebook Lite would certainly be a more desirable choice for those who just want to catch up with what their friends are doing and get irritated by Facebook’s constant bombardment of videos, pictures and other attention-grabbing content. That being said, for some it would be a little too basic.
Facebook’s use of EdgeRank (content targeting algorithm) has been filling up user’s news feeds with targeted ads for years and many people are getting fed up with this alongside the other distractions. While FB Lite still comes with ads, it’s a major reduction of pointless additional content, the only purpose of which seems to be to keep you glued to your phone.
Facebook Lite’s sister app – Messenger Lite – follows the same design strategy of preserving as much data as possible while still keeping all the essentials of the original Messenger app. It’s essentially Messenger from a few years ago, before the stories, wallpapers and games were introduced.
Messenger Lite APK keeps more of the original interface than the Facebook Lite – your friend’s avatars are circles, it still tells you what day you received a message – although it doesn’t tell you the time. It’s split into three columns: Contacts, chats and settings. The simplicity has a lot of people switching to it from the original app.
Messenger Lite works because it takes the app back to its roots – messaging. It’s a welcome step away from Facebook never-ending mission to dominate the tech word by making you never have to leave their app.
How to install Facebook Lite
Unfortunately, Facebook Lite for iPhone isn’t available as it isn’t supported on iOS for the time being, although this will almost certainly change in the near future.
To install on Android, simply follow press the button at the bottom of this article, once the download is complete, open the file and allow it to install. Then log into your Facebook account and begin.
You can use Facebook Lite on PC or Mac using an Android emulator like BlueStacks, although given that it was specifically designed for handheld devices the interface won’t be pleasant to use.
Installing Facebook Lite with messenger will require you to download both apps separately. Messenger Lite eats up around 10MB, you can follow the link at the bottom of this article to download it.
Facebook Lite might feel a little basic, but for those looking for a simpler social media experience, and save on some data in the process, it’s an ideal alternative to the regular Facebook app.
Facebook Messenger Lite is, on the other hand, a fantastic choice for anyone who just wants to use messenger for… messaging. It’s back-to-basics set-up and stripping down of redundant features makes it a more pleasant app to use overall.