Facebook Lite: Less Calories and More Like Twitter

So I apparently missed the news on August 12th that Facebook was rolling out a new version of itself in Beta form for testing.  According to Facebook’s response to an inquiry by the folks at TechCrunch:

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.

Lite

Lite

So this is basically the mobile app on the computer which seems a bit odd considering that Facebook has made it a point in recent years to go from a site where users had to visit each other’s pages to navigate the site in 2004, to the in-your-face status update crazed news feedathon that it is today.

Why are they scaling down? Well TechCrunch will have you believe that it’s because they are simply trying to cater to folks around the world who do not have brodband connections and need an alternative to Facebook’s main page (cue the tiny violin).

Noble, yes. True, perhaps. BS? Well, I’m going to wager that there is a little crap being spewed here. It’s no secret that Facebook and Twitter have been butting heads in popularity ever since celebrities like Shaq and Ashton Kutcher got on board with the micro blog. And sure, Facebook started using status updates first, but you can’t deny that the layout of “Facebook Lite” is very Twittery, even for Facebook.

There’s even a pattern here. Not too long ago they implemented the layout as we see it today. This design was lambasted by long-time users as an attempt to battle Twitter. So sorry TechCrunch, I’m going to have to disagree with you on this one. Facebook is becoming a lot (Lite) more like Twitter.

In short, yes, I can believe that Facebook Lite is for reaching people with slow connections. And because of this, they probably assume that those with a fast connection are going to keep using their “stout” Facebook accounts because it won’t make a difference to them either way.  However, I wouldn’t be too sure of that fact because if Twitter has taught us anything, it’s that sometimes less is more, and while people won’t stop using their “stout” accounts, they sure as hell will supplement their Facebook usage much in the same way users supplement their computer usage with phone applications.

Hence, Facebook is becoming more like Twitter (even if it’s on a totally different site).

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