Facebook strips down to Lite site

Facebook Lite The world's biggest social networking site has launched a slimmed-down version for people with slow or poor internet connections.

Facebook has said the Lite site will be faster and simpler because it offers fewer services than the main site.

Initially it is meant to support users in developing countries and where bandwidth constraints make the current version too slow to use.

At the moment it is only available in India and the US.

The company said around 70% of its more than 250 million users were from outside America. Countries in Southeast Asia and Europe are seeing a massive increase in growth where fast internet connections are more common.

News that Facebook was testing the Lite site was first leaked in August.

'Twitter-like'

The options on Facebook Lite are limited to letting users write on their wall, post photos and videos, view events and browse other people's profiles. There are no apps or special boxes.

"It appears, at a quick glance, to be a better site for Facebook newbies or for anyone who finds the current site overwhelming and noisy," said Rafe Needleman at technology website Cnet.

"The new layout feels almost Twitter-like."

Terence O'Brien at Switched.com gave the slimmed-down version of what he called "ol' blue" the thumbs-up because it "strips away distractions".

"The simple site loads noticeably faster, is easier to navigate, and is much easier on the eyes thanks to the lack of people sending you 'virtual booze' or asking you to join their 'vampire fraternity'.

"The new layout seems like a direct challenge to Twitter, which can attribute much of its success to is simplicity and portability," said Mr O'Brien.

More : news.bbc.co.uk

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