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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Facebook Lite: A look into the new Facebook Platform

Facebook, one of the biggest social networking sites, has just recently launched a newer, simplified version of the Facebook platform, called Facebook Lite. This news comes only a day after Facebook made its acquisition of FriendFeed, an information-sharing social network site, and rolled out its Realtime Facebook Search.

So what exactly is Facebook lite? You may wonder. Facebook Lite is a completely stripped-down version of the Facebook platform. It is almost like a Twitter stream: you can see your most recent status updates and updates of your friends. It has a left-hand navigation that has four main categories: Wall, Info, Friends, and Photos and Videos. Though it does little more than that.

According to Hacker News and Mashable, Facebook Lite looks like this..

Click on picture to enlarge

It's very stripped down, very basic, and very reminiscent of Twitter and FriendFeed.

The acquisition of FriendFeed may look like as if Facebook has integrated the new platform with the social network site. However, according to Mashable, this wouldn't most likely be the case as the deal with the newly acquired site is still new to integrate their technologies in this way. Moreover, there were reports that these tests have been ongoing for the last 2-3 days, and this would put its development well before the FriendFeed blockbuster acquisition.

There was a speculation that says the launching is a direct assault on Twitter. Apparently, Facebook continues to find ways to make itself competitive with Twitter. This is why Facebook has been launching features such as public profiles, profile fans, public status updates, and realtime search. Twitter is simple, so Facebook's fighting back with the same.

However, it's also possible that Facebook may just be making a speedier version for slow connections.

Facebook Lite is currently run for limited testing, and is tested by only a subset of users. The fact that thousands, if not millions of users got the test notice was a bug. Most likely, Facebook will open up the test to more users very soon, especially since everybody now knows about it.

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