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Facebook to roll out streamlined version of mobile app

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Facebook to roll out streamlined version of mobile app

Social networking giant Facebook is set to introduce a new Android app that is faster and lighter on data bandwidth compared to its standard app.

The new app, Facebook Lite, has been designed primarily for use in developing countries in which data and mobile services can be slow and restricted by bandwidth allowances.

Currently, the online phenomenon’s standard app utilises features such as auto-playing videos in its news feeds, but these can be difficult to navigate in areas where the quality of mobile data is poor.

This is not the first attempt the online company has had at a lighter version of its services. Facebook Zero was created in 2010 with a similar purpose, but was only accessible to countries that had signed an agreement with the network.

The app will be less than a megabyte in size, but will include all of the main features of the social network, including status updates, a news feed and notifications.

Facebook Lite is believed to be launched in countries across Asia and Africa in the coming weeks, with the app set to be rolled out across Latin America and Europe shortly afterwards.

The prospect of a streamlined version of the popular site is one that would be appealing to many in countries such as Britain and the U.S., who sometimes put up with poor connections and weak signals in densely populated cities and in more remote rural areas, but the social firm has yet to confirm whether the app would be available in these countries.

Alan Littler

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