If you’re curious as to how popular Facebook has become, consider this: the social networking site currently boasts upwards of 2.2 billion users. Put differently, approximately 30% of all the people on the planet are on Facebook, a staggering figure to say the least. Facebook, though, wants to get that figure even higher while also boosting engagement among existing users, which is why the company is expanding the rollout of Facebook Lite.
Facebook Lite, as the name somewhat implies, is a lightweight version of Facebook that was initially designed for use in developing countries where 2G networks are still prevalent. And last we heard, Facebook Lite currently boasts more than 200 million users.
Now comes word via Reuters that Facebook is starting to roll out the app to additional countries, including developed nations in an apparent effort to boost engagement among users with limited data plans.
As Facebook explained a few years ago:
Although 2G mobile networks cover up to 96% of people globally and are used for basic data connectivity by over half the world’s population, at least 1.6 billion people still live in places where mobile broadband networks (3G and 4G) are not available, making data access difficult.
Through our research in emerging markets and in seeing how people use our apps, we know that cost of data and overall data usage is extremely important to people. So we’ve been working to reduce data usage for people in emerging markets when they want to access Facebook.
Though already available in more than 100 countries, Reuters relays that Facebook Lite is now available for download in the United States, Australia, the UK, France, Canada, Germany, and New Zealand.