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Facebook Lite Tested In India

     
5:02 pm on Aug 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Facebook Lite Test [news.bbc.co.uk]
Facebook has begun tests on a new service tailored for mobiles and narrowband internet connections.

Facebook Lite appears to be a cut-down version of Facebook and is aimed at countries where broadband is limited.

The site is currently on trial in India and it is thought there are plans to extend this to China and Russia.

In a statement Facebook said the new service would be a "faster, simpler version similar to the Facebook experience you get on a mobile phone".

5:19 pm on Aug 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

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The site is currently on trial in India and it is thought there are plans to extend this to China and Russia

What a great idea...
7:27 pm on Aug 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Since I am from I can tell you how a lot of friends are shifting from orkut to Facebook .. Orkut used to lighter, simpler and good for Indian Internet speed but now we get around 512kb/sec unlimited for INR 1000 ($23) per month, speed is good enough to watch Youtube videos as if it is live TV.

With the speed and amazing features of facebook, people are migrating to facebook, a good idea to target these growing countries.

Last week, I was speaking at Bloggers meet in Kolkata and I mentioned Orkut to be a high school and then your gradute to facebook.

Now the hottest thing is integration of your site with Facebook using FBConnect, its working good for me.

In Short good move by facebook for a lighter version.

10:56 pm on Aug 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Those are the countries where Facebook revenues aren't keeping up with bandwidth costs. Those countries have been a drag on Facebook's ability to become profitable. The drag was such a big issue internally at Facebook that their Chief Financial Officer resigned because he objected to statements claiming profitability possible by 2010. This is a cost cutting move as part of their struggle to reach profitability.

From an April 2009 NYTimes article about serving countries that don't monetize [nytimes.com]:

The Facebook social network is also considering lowering the quality of videos and photographs delivered to some regions in an effort to reduce expenses.

“We can decide, either on a country by country or user by user basis, to engineer the quality of the service for that cohort of users,” said Jonathan Heiliger, the executive who oversees Facebook’s computing infrastructure.

Facebook is in a particularly difficult predicament. Seventy percent of its 200 million members live outside the United States, many in regions that do not contribute much to Facebook’s bottom line.

3:18 am on Aug 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

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The users in those regions which do not monetise well are a really strong asset; everyone will want to reach those users in five, ten years. The places which do monetise are saturating very quickly; keeping that 70% presence in strong future growth markets is going to be crucial for their long term value.
7:47 pm on Aug 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I agree facebook will be the next popular social networking site in India after getting such a great response to Orkut.
6:17 am on Aug 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

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You would think Google would actually put some effort into making Orkut better, they haven't done hardly anything with it.
5:41 pm on Aug 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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and expanding to China... that's great, but when will facebook be unbanned in China?

Xiaonei, the largest facebook clone in China, gets much larger user base there because they're willing to comply with china's sick self-censorship policy.

What Facebook needs to do isn't a Lite version (broadband is extremely popular there) but a Facebook Castrated.

5:50 pm on Aug 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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but when will facebook be unbanned in China?

I think you've answered your own question here:

to comply with china's sick self-censorship policy.