Facebook Lite available in South Africa
Keep an eye on the Google Play store, because Facebook is testing a new data-light version of Facebook for Android phones.
There's a new app in the Google Play Store: Facebook Lite. Intended for entry-level Android smartphones, it's designed to work on 2G networks and areas where internet connectivity isn't great.
Facebook didn't make an official announcement about the app, which launched on 20 January, but it is being tested in Bangladesh, Nepal, Nigeria, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
At the time of writing, we can confirm that the app is available via the Google Play store for users in Johannesburg, but it could not be downloaded in Cape Town. This suggests that it's limited to certain areas.
The app is very light; it will use only 252KB of data to download versus 27.54MB for the full Facebook app. That's a big difference. According to the app description, it will give you quicker load times and also incorporates Facebook's messaging features so you don't need to download the separate Facebook Messenger app.
This sure to be a big hit in South Africa with data-conscious users. If you're worried about how much data you're using, take a look at some clever ways to save data on your smartphone.
Looking for an affordable smartphone?
There were a number of smartphones launched in South Africa in 2014 aimed at the cost-conscious consumer. If you're ready to make the transition to a smartphone or are looking for something that won't make a huge dent in your budget, take a look at the Vodacom Smart Kicka, Smart 4 Mini or Sony Xperia E1.