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Facebook Lite is coming to Canada, Australia, the UK and US

Tired of Facebook sucking up your data plan? The social network's stripped-down app is being released more broadly on Friday.

Ian Sherr Former Editor at Large / News
Ian Sherr (he/him/his) grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, so he's always had a connection to the tech world. At CNET, he wrote about Apple, Microsoft, VR, video games and internet troubles. Aside from writing, he tinkers with tech at home, is a longtime fencer -- the kind with swords -- and began woodworking during the pandemic.
Ian Sherr
2 min read

Some people have criticized Facebook's data usage and app size.

Claudia Cruz/CNET

Get ready for less Facebook in your life.

That's not a typo.

The world's largest social network said Thursday that it'll be releasing Facebook Lite, its pared-down app designed for people in developing countries with limited data plans, to the wider world, including Australia, Canada, Germany, France, the UK and US. 

Facebook is making the app only available on Android when it's released Friday. The company didn't respond to a request for comment about when a version for iPhones will be released.

"To help everyone have a great Facebook experience regardless of where they connect or the bandwidth they have, in many countries we rolled out Facebook Lite as a standalone, native app with features such as News Feed, status updates, push notifications, and camera/photo integration," the company said in a statement. Reuters was first to report the news.

Though Facebook Lite was originally created for people with slow and spotty internet connections, those with perfectly fine internet connections may be interested in using it as well. The app takes up less space on your smartphone, and it's designed to eat up less data as it displays the latest baby photos and political rantings from your friends. 

This isn't the first time Facebook has attempted pared-down versions. Over the past decade, it's created versions of its website, called Facebook Zero and Facebook Lite. It's also offered free internet in some countries through a program called Free Basics, though some governments have pushed back

The company also has teams devoted to reducing the data traffic to its namesake app, including when showing ads, photos and 360-degree videos.

Perhaps the most dramatic effort from the company was when Facebook told users in 2014 to download a separate app called Messenger, to send direct messages to one another. It then removed the functionality from its primary app. The company promised faster speed and better functionality as a result, though some people balked at the company forcing them to download another app.

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