Social media leader Facebook launches a smaller app in efforts to reach up-and-coming markets and further dominate the global market
Facebook recently launched Facebook Lite for users in emerging markets. The new app was designed specifically for low-end Android smartphones. It is currently available in the following markets: Bangladesh, Nepal, Nigeria, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Vietnam and Zimbabwe. The new mobile app only takes up 1 megabyte of storage space, which is far less than the average app, which takes up about 25 megabytes of space.
The benefits of Facebook Lite
The Facebook Lite app is true to its name with minimal features like friend updates, Messenger and notifications. Since this app is significantly smaller than the main app, it loads much faster and requires minimal data. The social media giant did not officially announce the new app, so it’s not surprising the download has so far only reached a number of installations between 10,000 and 50,000.
Mark Zuckerberg and his company aim to expand their number of mobile users in growing markets, and this includes making the most of low-cost mobile phones. One of the fastest growing smartphone markets within the Asian region is India. This year it’s expected to hold 101.5 million mobile Facebook users. There are also 62.6 million in Indonesia and 57.9 million in Brazil. This growth offers a lot of potential for the company.
Social media’s impact on emerging markets
Facebook has struggled with slowing user growth in the past few years. As a result, the social media giant is pushing an emerging market agenda. In 2014, the company revamped its Android app. The year before, Facebook co-founded a project called Internet.org. This project gives those in developing countries free internet access as well as a number of other mobile services. Facebook already dominates markets in the West but sees untapped potential in less developed markets. IHS senior mobile analyst Jack Kent explained that the company’s strategy is to grow the number of users and then monetize them.