facebook lite (5)

Facebook is targeting users of entry-level Android devices with a new app that is now available in a handful of developing countries.

The app is called Facebook Lite and is basically a low-fi version of the full app known by hundreds of millions of users worldwide. Lite, which appears to be actually a wrapper for a web app, is just 262KB in size and it should work even on devices with very low processing power and slow 2G connections. As TechCrunch’s Jon Russell notes, the app is based on Snaptu, an app that Facebook acquired in 2011, which allows Facebook to run on some feature phones.

The app is fairly basic in functionality and design, but all the key components are present, including Messenger, Pages, Groups, and more. There’s also notification support, so users should be able to rely on it for the core Facebook experience. Here’s the app’s Play Store description:

  • Fast to install — the app is less than 1 MB
  • Quick to load
  • Efficient with data
  • Designed for 2G networks and areas with limited network connectivity

From testing the app on my Mate 7, performance and responsiveness are clearly several notches below the full Facebook app, but that is to be expected from an application designed to run on basic devices.

The app appears to have been quietly launched on January 20. For now, Facebook Lite is available in Bangladesh, Nepal, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe. These are all markets where connectivity is spotty, at best, and where smartphone penetration is still low. Facebook appears to be using these locales as a test bed before rolling out Facebook Lite to more regions.

Update – Permissions:

Facebook has a clear interest in getting more users online, given how user acquisition has tapered off (or even turned negative) in most developed markets. Facebook Lite is just one of the initiatives that Mark Zuckerberg’s company is pursuing in developing markets, with other examples being Internet.org (bringing free Internet access to underserved areas) and Facebook Zero (sponsored access to Facebook).

You can try out Facebook Lite from the Play Store or by downloading the APK (Drive mirror) (checked for authenticity). Let us know what you think of this new app.

Bogdan Petrovan
Bogdan is the European Managing Editor of Android Authority. He loves tech, travel, and fantasy. He wishes he had more time for two of those things. Bogdan's phone is a Nexus 6P.
  • Jack Parker

    And the password is?

    • Should work now, sorry!

      • Cicero

        Cam multi de “sorry”, Bogdane!

  • Life Times

    Encryption key needed to download the APK, what is it?

  • Marius Oprisan

    Still asking for decryption key

  • Jeshter

    Still asking for KEY

  • The Mega link should be updated, but I also added a Drive link.

    • Justin

      Drive working flawlessly!

  • Justin

    Still asking..

    • Casper

      Try Drive

  • Guest

    Got it from Drive, now working with my Lollipop G3 in Romania. Don’t know if country restriction or because of Android version.

  • Casper

    Also works on my Oneplus One :p
    It’s a bit of stutter in the scrolling, but apart from it looks fine.

    • Marius Oprisan

      Works on Lollipop G3 in Romania, but laggy as hell. I thought this version was supposed to help people with crap internet connections, but seems to fail at doing that if it lags on a perfect connection :)

    • Jasterrr

      Works perfectly on my Samsung Galaxy Mini S5570, very fast and responsive :)

      • Martin

        Weird install on Note 4 small stutter when scrolling, Installed on PadPhone 1 smooth as butter. Odd.

  • Vedran Ukay

    Smells like wrapper :)

  • Todor Velichkov

    This app is incompatible with all of your devices. – Nexus 5

    • Marius Oprisan

      Country restriction in GooglePlay, sideload the apk.

    • steelew

      side load

  • Kieran Warren

    Why do they only make it officially available to certain countries. Don’t they realise that in the UK connections can be very patchy and slow? I’m sure its the same elsewhere in developed countries.

    • Sonik

      I’m in the UK and I’m using it. I have a really fast connection but I hate the main bloated Facebook app. Just downloaded the apk. They should definitely make this available in all counties. I hope this is lighter on battery too.

      • Kieran Warren

        Yeah the main app is just way too bloated. They seem to continue adding stuff while not optimizing and keeping code clean and fast. It runs a lot of crap in the background that are unnecessary and I’m sure a lot of excess code is being run whilst the app is in the foreground that just is not necessary.

  • Basel Kira

    Nope , Chrome and fast notifier is good for me :) .
    Only problem is without facebook my phone book doesn’t give me people pictures but I am ok with it

  • Vangreen

    177mb vs 1.11mb when I have only 4gb of storage in my phone. Good move facebook, great aplication

    • the_black_dragon

      Facebook App is only 30MB… rest is Data and cache -.- Just klear the cache and you’ll have a lot more of free memory

      • Vangreen

        Yes is only 30MB apk file, but after instalation is 80 and after one 2 week~month using is 170 mb !!!

        • the_black_dragon

          No it is 40MB (Sorry my fault) App + Data (in my case 239MB because of A LOT of gallery thumbnails from photo sharing) installed on Lollypop
          Even the Google App is 65 MB Installed and 40MB Data and no one is complaining.
          Google Play Services 90 MB App + Data (20MB in my case)
          Google+ 68MB App + Data (2MB but never use it)
          Even WhatsApp is nearly as big as Facebook with 32MB plus 13MB Data!
          So Facebook is not as recourse hungry like a lot of people say… Google Stuff is!

          • Android Developer

            WhatsApp takes a lot of space over time (till you don’t have any space left at all). It puts all videos&images that you receive/send into a folder that isn’t considered as a part of the calculation.
            Not only that, but if you delete those files, you won’t be able to see them on WhatsApp.

        • keran

          and thats why he said clear the cache and you’ll free a lot of memory

    • Manas Tungare

      How about a 960KB app, which can create Lite Apps for any web site, not just Facebook? That’s 960KB total, not for each Lite App. Try it out: http://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.chimbori.hermitcrab

  • Renascienza

    Does this could be a lightweight version without dozens of permissions from the original version?

    This is because I believe that, before long, the Facebook for Android will be asking even for root access …

  • steelew

    can’t organize wall by most recent…fail

  • Dawar Ahmad

    Lol, I live in Afghanistan and it is not compatible with my device (Nexus 5). We have the slowest internet in world i think, it should be available to us first.

    • Anonymousfella

      Nexus 5 isn’t a device with “low specifications” by any stretch! Now if Internet is a problem, you could use Opera Mini or some other server-side compression tech…

      • Dawar Ahmad

        My Comment was based on their description which they gave in Play Store:

        “This version of Facebook uses less data and works in all network conditions.

        Facebook Lite is:
- Fast to install — the app is less than 1 MB

        – Quick to load
- Efficient with data

        – Designed for 2G networks and areas with limited network connectivity”

        Nowhere is mentioned low spec device. They designed it for slow nets.

        • Anonymousfella

          Oh ok. The article made it seem it was mostly for devices for low end specs. Btw have you tried sideloading the app? Google Play might have some country restrictions in place…

          • Dawar Ahmad

            Yes I just did. It works great.
            But the problem is many people here only knows how to download apps from Play Store.
            Hope this country restriction goes away, at least for free apps.

          • Anonymousfella

            Oh yes country restrictions should go away!

      • Desintegrator2

        Can Opera Mini compress encrypted connections? Google chrome compression proxy is unable to do so.

    • Ja
    • Ravi Kumar

      hi, i’m from india, it shows not compatible” for me too.. just side load the app (272kb) from 3rd party sites and install..

      download link: http://www.apkmirror.com/apk/facebook-2/lite/facebook-lite-1-0-0-0-0-official-apk/

  • Denver Poria

    So far so good! :)

  • Juan A C

    I simply added a bookmark to the website on my desktop. It even shows the “f” logo, just as if you had the app, but doesn’t munch all your storage+ram away

  • CMiles1979

    and what about permissions? The same like facebook?

    • It looks so… I updated the post with the permissions.

      • Jonathan Davis

        this is a really really really huge and terrible shame.

        welp. looks like it’s “tinfoil for facebook” for me for quite a while longer.

  • J Janz

    I uninstalled standard facebook and messenger apps before installing Drive’s apk but, after installing, Facebook was there along with Lite. Messenger wasn’t. Managed to uninstall facebook again, now from Settings > Apps, even because it wasn’t showing at Play Store, and Lite stuck there and runs alright here in Brazil, Galaxy Note 1 (w/Lollipop).

    Did it install facebook again for everybody or was it just for me? (Maybe something happened and it removed itself from Play but didn’t uninstal from device.)

  • Good app, I use fb only for notifications and I don’t need any other features.

  • Aaron Stevens

    Just gave it a go on my OPO – it stutters a lot scrolling down. You’d be better off using Facebook browser instead – http://forum.xda-developers.com/android/apps-games/app-facebook-browser-t2864561 does pretty much the same thing as FB Lite does but it scrolls very smoothly too.

    • Ben

      You don’t have any friends

  • Tjaldid

    Quite ironic if this app is better than the normal one which is terrible compa compared to the iOS counterpart

  • Ruben

    For those with problems with country restrictions you can download it from where:


  • dailen

    They may only have it available to limited devices or countries for testing purposes perhaps? I just installed the APK. It’s SOOO much nicer than the full version for sure. That thing brings my phone to a grinding halt every time I install it!

    I can’t post anything on Google Play since I can’t officially download it but feature request for them would definitely be to integrate OS level Facebook authentication. That’s really the only reason I even need the d*** app on my phone because putting my credentials in every time I get a new app that uses Facebook authentication using the little browser window is a pain plus I use MSA which makes it take even longer.

  • crutchcorn

    Something I might have to install…

  • Jesse

    I live in Nigeria and on playstore it says not available for my country

  • Finally a small facebook app. One that isn’t occupying 100mb of useless data

  • Arian Takes On

    I’ve downloaded the APK and installed it on my tablet and it’s obvious, the app experience is better on a phone. Lol.

  • Ja
  • Bob

    it brings chat back to the facebook app! no need for two battery draining apps.

  • dontsh00tmesanta

    Looks like fb blocked it for me it won’t load anything anymore

    • FB and instagram Server is justdown..

      • dontsh00tmesanta

        Yea figured that out a little after I posted

  • Jack Smith

    IF I used facebook even on a high end I’d use this app over the main bloated app. At least this one seems to be able to do messaging!

  • ayz

    can’t open friend requests

  • Jam

    will this work even with the original facebook app installed or do i have to uninstall???

  • Tom Foolery

    I entered my username and password then hit login 800 times and nothing happened

  • Bogdan Cîrstea

    I just tested it on a HTC M7. lags a lot more!

  • Tom

    We’re also working on this issues to provide really lightweight Facebook application for Android. However, Facebook with this app seem to be outstanding all of us. However, ours still better than the official full version.

    Take a look if you find it interesting: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.newsfeed.android