Facebook Lite: More useful than Facebook PR
Overnight, some Facebook users were greeted with an invitation to try a stripped-bare version of the site. It's like a mobile Facebook, but for your computer
Overnight, some Facebook users were greeted with this message when logging in: "We are building a faster, simpler version of Facebook that we call Facebook Lite. It's not finished yet and we have plenty of kinks to work out, but we would love to get your feedback on what we've built so far."
Facebook Lite, huh? Sounds distinctly like a stripped-down version of the site for people who just want basic, quick-loading functionality -- writing on walls, updating your status, sharing a link, confirming friend requests and the like. Like a mobile version of Facebook, really, but on your desktop computer.
That's because it is. But not for you. As TechCrunch notes, it's aimed at users with hellish Internet connections, such as folk in developing countries such as Russia, China and India.
"We are currently testing Facebook Lite in countries where we are seeing lots of new users coming to Facebook for the first time and are looking to start off with a more simple experience," was the official statement we didn't get from Facebook, because it's useless at answering our questions when America's asleep.
The obvious conclusion to draw from this is that a simpler Facebook is a response to the Twitter threat, but it's really not. In fact, while Twitter is growing enormously quickly, it's still a very different service and most Twitter users are still on the 'book. We believe the official line that it's about offering a better, simpler service to new users and people with abysmal Internet connections. Nothing more.
Now, we'd like to tell you if UK users might get the chance to preview this, but we can't. Again, because America's asleep. We'll update you when it becomes physically possible for someone to answer our enquiries. In the meantime, the comments are open for you to answer this question: would you like a lighter version of Facebook?