Facebook is testing a new version of its social network tailored for mobiles and narrowband web connections. Facebook Lite is a cut-down version of the social network, aimed at countries where broadband is limited. The site is currently on trial in India and it is thought there are plans to extend this to China and Russia. Lite offers only basic functionality such as making comments, accepting friend requests, writing on Walls, and viewing photos.
The bare-bones design has a one-column display of Wall posts, with three buttons at the top that let you write messages or post photos and video. There are also four links on the left under your profile picture: “Wall,” “Info,” “Friends,” and “Photos and Video.”
In a statement Facebook said the new service would be a “faster, simpler version similar to the Facebook experience you get on a mobile phone. Facebook Lite is a fast-loading, simplified version of Facebook that enables people to make comments, accept friend requests, write on people’s walls, and look at photos and status updates,” the statement continued. “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.”
Facebook claims to have more than 250 million active users, although more than 72% of these are in Europe and North America, where fast broadband internet connections are common. So far Facebook hasn’t said whether it is launching a UK version.