Friday, September 11, 2009

Slimming Down with Facebook Lite

The public preview of Facebook Lite launched yesterday. If you have a Facebook account, you can log in and try it out at

For those of you who may not have heard of Facebook Lite yet, it is not meant as a full replacement for the standard Facebook interface. Available internationally, it is a back-to-basics version of the social network which is intended to aid mobile users and those with slow Internet connections.

Here are the major differences between the two versions of Facebook, as explained by PCWorld:

The profile page on Facebook Lite removes many of the bells and whistles from the traditional version and keeps only the basics: your wall, info, friends, and photos and videos. The status and sharing interface is unchanged; however, you can't view wall-to-wall posts or invite friends to an event.

The most notable omissions from the new Facebook Lite interface are the third-party applications. Only a handful of Facebook's own applications are available, so that you can get a reasonable experience from the site. Other changes include birthdays and contacts moved at the top of the feed and real-time updates at the bottom of the page.

Also of note, Facebook has introduced a new "@"-based tagging system for status updates. If you use Twitter, this may sound very familiar. Facebook will be rolling out this change over the next few weeks, so you may not be able to access it yet. To learn more, check out this post in the Facebook blog:

These moves are widely viewed as part of Facebook’s effort to beat Twitter at its own game. The announcements come on the heels of Facebook’s acquisition of FriendFeed, the introduction of real-time updates, the addition of privacy settings which allow you to open your profile to the public, and several other Twitter-esque changes. Whether this will be enough to slow Twitter’s growth remains to be seen, but it’s clear that Facebook isn’t content to rest on its laurels while the “next big thing” steals its thunder.

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