You must have read by now that Facebook, or at least someone from Facebook has accidentally leaked out beta invites to Facebook Lite. Apparently, many users who are not supposed to get the invites actually did and were caught by surprise by what Facebook later on admitted as a lighter and faster version of its site. And now BBC has just reported that Facebook Lite is actually up and running on beta mode in India.This news is somehow supported by the statement from Facebook saying that Facebook Lite is running the test in countries where there are new users coming to Facebook for the first time. The Lite version is Facebook’s way of giving these new users an easier time adapting to the Facebook network with the hopes that they will eventually become regular users of the actual Facebook site.
BBC also reported that Facebook is planning the country coverage of the beta test to Russia and China. In addition to India, these three countries are supposedly weak in terms of broadband infrastructure. So, a lightweight and faster Facebook interface is a more advisable starting point of their social networking life.
Here’s the full statement coming from a Facebook representative explaining what transpired a couple of hours ago:
We are currently testing a simplified alternative to Facebook.com that loads a specific set of features quickly and efficiently. Similar to the Facebook experience you get on your mobile phones, Facebook “Lite” is a fast-loading, simplified version of Facebook that enables people to make comments, accept Friend requests, write on people’s Walls, and look at photos and Status updates. We are currently testing Facebook Lite in countries where we are seeing lots of new users coming to Facebook for the first time and are looking to start off with a more simple experience.
This evening, the test was temporarily exposed to a larger set of users by mistake. We have not opened up access to lite.facebook.com to all users at this time. People who are not part of the test and are trying to access “Lite” will be directed to Facebook.com as usual.
Somehow, this clears out the initial impression that Facebook Lite is a direct attack on Twitter. Or is it not? Likewise, Facebook Lite is not yet Friendfeed in Facebook’s clothing.