Android iPhone and iPad Social Media

What Is Facebook Lite and Can It Replace Facebook?

Emma Roth Updated 21-02-2020

What is Facebook Lite? In a nutshell, it’s a stripped-down version of the standard Facebook app for Android and iOS. Although it lacks certain features, it’s still a great alternative to the full-sized Facebook app.

Advertisement

However, as we all know, Facebook knows a lot of information about you, and the social network’s mobile app is one of the ways the company collects your data. Is the Facebook Lite app any better?

In this article, we’ll explain what Facebook Lite is and help you decide whether it can replace the standard Facebook app.

What Is Facebook Lite?

Facebook unveiled Facebook Lite in 2015 as a version of Facebook built from scratch to work smoothly with poor mobile connections and low-end phones.

It’s an app for the entire world, but built with developing countries where data connectivity is hard to come by in mind. Facebook Lite also helps save space on your phone, and still functions in 2G conditions.

The Benefits of Facebook Lite

The main difference between Facebook Lite and Facebook is its size. Facebook Lite’s download is under 10MB. On my device, it only takes up 2.19MB of space. Compare that to the amount of space regular Facebook takes up, which is 167MB. This is a substantial difference.

Additionally, Facebook Lite doesn’t preload photos in the way that Facebook does. This means slightly longer loading times when scrolling through your Newsfeed, but less data consumed. You’ll also notice that videos don’t autoplay the way they do on the standard app—videos will only autoplay on Facebook Lite when you’re connected to Wi-Fi.

You can save even more data by heading to your Facebook Lite settings, and scrolling down to the Media and Contacts setting. Here, you can choose the photo quality that Facebook Lite will display. Opting for low-resolution photos can help you reduce data usage. The standard Facebook app has a data saving feature, but it doesn’t save nearly as much when compared to Facebook Lite.

User Interface

Facebook Lite isn’t just a wrapper for the mobile website—it’s a completely redesigned app. In all honesty, the layout isn’t worse; it’s just different. You still have the same basic tabs: News Feed, Friend Requests, Messages, Videos, Notifications, and Options—you just can’t swipe between them; you have to tap them.

Here’s a comparison of both apps’ Newsfeed, with Facebook Lite on the left, and the original Facebook app on the right:

As you can see, Facebook Lite’s menu and search bar remain on top of the screen, while the standard Facebook app places the menu bar at the bottom. You’ll see generally smaller text and buttons on Facebook Lite, which is intended for devices with low-resolution screens. It still has a semi-modern look with white cards over a gray background, much like the regular Facebook app.

In the notification panel below, you can see that the Lite version features small, low-resolution profile photos to denote whether someone liked or commented on something. The text is also much smaller when compared to the original Facebook app.

Scrolling through the Lite app is a bit slower than scrolling through regular Facebook. It’s clear that Facebook made some cuts to allow the app to function properly on devices with low RAM, low CPU power, and a poor internet connection. Despite this, Facebook Lite is still useable.

Security and Privacy

Facebook definitely loves your information, and you want to be sure that the company isn’t just handing it out to everyone. Well for starters, Facebook have an online tool so you can verify your privacy settings, but once you’ve done that, it’s not a bad idea to see what permissions that mobile app has on your device.

You can even browse Facebook through Tor for added security How to Browse Facebook Over Tor in 5 Steps Want to stay secure when using Facebook? The social network has launched a .onion address! Here's how to use Facebook on Tor. Read More .

Some people consider the regular Facebook app’s permissions to be a bit invasive. You can see all of those below.

It looks like a long list, but Facebook Lite’s list is nearly as long:

The major differences? Regular Facebook has permissions to use biometric hardware, change audio settings, use Google Play billing services, and pair with your Bluetooth devices. So nothing too dramatic.

Basically, if regular Facebook’s permissions are too invasive for you, Facebook Lite’s probably are as well. Your best bet to avoid permissions is simply to access Facebook’s mobile website via your favorite Android browser What's the Fastest Android Browser? 7 Top Apps Ranked With so many Android browsers available, which are the fastest? Here are the best browser apps on Android. Read More .

Messaging

Facebook Lite used to have its own messaging system built right into the app. However, it now forces you to download and use a separate messaging app, just like the standard Facebook app. Instead of using the regular Messenger, Facebook Lite users are encouraged to use Messenger Lite on Android and iOS.

But if you’re going to make the switch, how does Messenger Lite compare to Messenger? See for yourself. Messenger Lite is below on the left, and Messenger is below on the right.

Facebook Messenger Lite looks almost the same as the regular Messenger. If you find Messenger to be too bloated, Lite might just be the messaging app you were looking for anyway.

And if you’re a fan of Facebook’s stickers then you’ll be happy to know that even the Lite version supports them. Just keep in mind that you won’t have access to the library of GIFs, emojis, and text styles that come along with the standard Messenger. It’s functional, but it’s not great.

How Do I Download Facebook Lite?

Facebook Lite is currently available in North America, as well as in parts of Asia, South America, Africa, and Europe. The Play Store and App Store listings are visible to everyone, but if you’re not in one of the countries supported, you’ll see a message saying: “This app is incompatible with all of your devices.”

Download: Facebook Lite for Android | iOS (Free)

Facebook vs. Facebook Lite: Which Should You Use?

While Facebook isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, Facebook Lite might be more appealing. Especially if you own an older phone or need to save data where possible.

However, if you don’t have an older phone and don’t need to conserve data, you’ll probably benefit more from the standard Facebook app. The only issue being the extra permissions needed to use it.

Although Facebook Messenger provides an easy way to communicate with your friends, you might want to keep your information off of Facebook. Fortunately, these Facebook Messenger alternatives Don't Want to Use Facebook Messenger? 10 Slick Alternatives to Try Facebook Messenger isn't perfect. Why keep using it? Here are the best alternatives to Facebook Messenger. Read More are perfect if you don’t want to use Facebook.

Whatsapp Pinterest

Enjoyed this article? Stay informed by joining our newsletter!

Enter your Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Joy
    August 31, 2018 at 9:03 am

    Does this mean people you want to sent messages to if you download messengerlite will be able to receive and reply if they have the other versions?

    • PaulV
      October 14, 2018 at 3:12 am

      Yes. I use Messenger Lite on a Galaxy S7. Facebook Lite transfers you to Messenger Lite when you click on messages. The threads are all the same as you would see on a desktop browser or on a Messenger app on iOS.

  2. Ross West
    January 31, 2018 at 5:01 am

    Facebook Lite awesome. I already installed it on my smartphone. It takes very low space and runs smoothly. You did a great job to sharing this informative article.

  3. Thishani
    January 22, 2018 at 10:46 am

    Can i use the normal facebook to login to my facebook lite account

    • Jaysen Lee
      January 28, 2018 at 5:04 am

      Yes you can

  4. Nabeel khan
    October 14, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    how i post status about my education....fr xample i want to post status that start studying ....how i post start studying at abc college from faceboook lite

  5. RCD
    August 23, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    Any way to use an external browser in Facebook Lite? It's possible in the full app, but I can't find any place to set this up in Facebook Lite.

  6. Pragnesh Isharani
    July 5, 2017 at 3:13 am

    Excellent article for smartphone users like me . I first time , came to know about these technicalities of facebook and it's another version " facebook light". I am going to replace my facebook version.

  7. Rajeevan
    July 4, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    why
    call option is not available to all friends

  8. ste
    May 30, 2017 at 9:46 am

    Usless how to remove it

  9. Ayush
    March 28, 2017 at 7:47 am

    Will i will be able to react on photos using fb lite

  10. Ayush
    March 28, 2017 at 7:46 am

    Is there any reaction option on photos through fb lite

  11. Susan Napoli
    March 18, 2017 at 12:06 am

    I am a authorized user for the FB business account my boss has. Will downloading FB Lite be a problem when I need to go do something on her FB page? Also, will I still be able to use FB on my desktop or will it be FB lite as well?

  12. Momi
    February 10, 2017 at 3:34 am

    I just want to know when we check someone's account, and the app shows 'active 6 m ago' etc. Etc. Does it means the user was really active 6 m ago.. Or he was offline long before?

  13. Retha
    February 7, 2017 at 11:34 pm

    great post you's have here how anyone's first thoughts on our post relative to line
    bubble 2 online hack

  14. Sukumar
    October 26, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    It's getting struck while scrolling. Otherwise it's worth than Facebook app.

  15. Anthony
    October 6, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    I tried lite because my phone has limited storage. I like lite, although the UI is a little confusing at first. One problem I have though, a lot of times if I'm typing up a post or comment, it erases either the whole or part of the message when I tap "done". For now, I'm going back to the full version.

  16. Toni
    October 3, 2016 at 12:55 am

    I have facebook lite installed, but how do I put an shortcut icon on my phone's screen?

  17. Farnaz
    July 26, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    Why I cant edit my caption using facebook lite?

  18. Anonymous
    June 29, 2016 at 8:22 pm

    Kind of just a moderate Facebook user, but I was increasingly needing to use the Message feature to stay in touch with certain friends. Had been quite content using the mobile website via Chrome for Android, but near the beginning of June, apparently just as previously with the iOS and Android FB apps, the ability to message through the mobile website was halted. I then looked for an alternative, as I wasn't going to load and use the huge Messenger app. The first alternative I found and am still trying out was available on the Play Store, called "Lite Messenger for Facebook." Installed it takes up just under 12 MB. It looks very similar to the mobile site, and actually has more than just messaging capabilities. I had read there was something called "Facebook Lite" but didn't know where to find it, as I didn't run across it on the Play Store. Then I caught this article, and am already familiar with apkmirror.com, so I went there, found the latest version of FB Lite, and am impressed with its installed size on my device as 7.6 MB. Will be comparing the two and eventually deciding on a favorite. Thanks for the article and comments!

  19. Cedric
    June 24, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    I am using Facebook Lite since its announcement and I must say that it has improved well. Read receipts are also available in the Lite version. And if you want to share something, for example you are in your album/gallery and want to share a photo, you have to tap "share" and choose Lite from the list. Lite works great. the regular fb & messenger are useless to me now. I do have lots of storage space available on my Sony Xperia C5 Ultra Dual but I don't really like using a large app when its smaller counterpart works like a charm.
    - Another option is using the fb mobile website from your smartphone's browser - using Facebook in android's chrome / Firefox / Uc. The website also is a very attractive option & works great. It's up to your choice :)

    • Masooma
      April 16, 2017 at 9:06 pm

      Did fb lite had an option of deleting messages in its old version in mobile phones having low storage space??

    • Masooma
      April 16, 2017 at 9:08 pm

      Did it had an option of deleting messages in its old version in mobile phones having low storage space?

  20. Will
    May 12, 2016 at 10:10 am

    Missing "Favorites" list!

  21. Timothy Pugh
    March 8, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    Lite only comes up as an option for a picture for me, not for a video...

  22. Sk
    January 30, 2016 at 3:12 am

    You can upload videos to Lite by finding them in your gallery app and choosing Share - Lite comes up as one of the options.

  23. Anonymous
    July 23, 2015 at 10:46 am

    If you use UC Browser you can get FB push notifications as if it were through the app. UC seems to be built for FB.

  24. Anonymous
    June 23, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    I use Facebook on my Android tablet to keep in touch with family, friends and interest groups.

    But I avoid the apps altogether.

    I just place a bookmark icon on my Android desktop.

    Similarly, on my Windows desktop, I place a Chrome shortcut.

    As far as I know, the browser-based Facebook isn't missing any of the functions of the Android apps.

    • Riley J. Dennis
      June 24, 2015 at 1:29 am

      true, probably the only thing you're missing out on is instant push notifications -- but those can be a pain anyway :)

    • Dustin Allen
      December 19, 2015 at 11:09 pm

      Missing video upload

    • Dustin Allen
      December 19, 2015 at 11:11 pm

      It is missing video upload feature. Only allows photos thru browser. Only reason I have the app.

      • Sk
        January 30, 2016 at 3:13 am

        You can upload videos to Lite by finding them in your gallery app and choosing Share – Lite comes up as one of the options.

        • Al
          May 8, 2016 at 8:34 pm

          On my android, i don,t have that option to share ti lite. Why? And i nave fb lite installed.