Just over a year ago, on June 5th, 2015, Mark Zuckerberg announced the launch of Facebook Lite, an alternative Facebook app designed for slower mobile networks. Facebook Lite was built for Android devices and uses much less data than the regular Facebook app. The app loads quickly, uploads photos at a faster rate, and works on all networks, though it is specifically designed for 2G networks and areas with slow or unstable internet connections.
Eventually, Facebook Lite was rolled out all over the globe and the app has caught on in a wide variety of countries across several continents. Using our Daily Active Users metric, which refers to the percent of all Android users who open the app on the average day, we are able to see clear trends and discover where Facebook Lite is strongest.
In the heat map below, the Daily Active Users is displayed for almost every country in the world. The countries with a lighter shade of blue are countries where Facebook Lite is used heavily, and dark blue refers to countries that barely use the app at all. For exameple, in Madagascar, an average of 34.75% of all Android users open the Facebook Lite app at least once a day. That figure is slightly higher that Facebook Lite’s usage in Nepal, which stands at 26.56% and much higher than use in the United States, where only 0.08% of Android users use Facebook Lite on the average day.
Some of the countries where Facebook Lite’s usage is highest are so small, they don’t even appear on the map. Timor Leste or East Timor leads the list with a whopping 64.61% of East Timorese Android Users opening up Facebook Lite on a daily basis. After Timor-Leste, 6 African countries make up the list, with Comoros leading the way with 34.96% Daily Active Users. Nepal, Solomon Islands, and Nicaragua make up the rest of the list with all countries having a daily use of above 17%.
Though Facebook Lite usage is concentrated in Africa and other parts of the developing world, there are also pockets of Europe where the app has shown a strong popularity. The map below shows the Daily Active Users of just European countries, and shows a clearer picture of where people use the app in Europe. Among European Nations, Albania leads the way with 4.27%, followed by Hungary with 3.82% and Bosnia and Herzegovina with 3.41%.
In many other parts of the world, the Facebook Lite has shown tremendous growth and continued use. Looking back to the world map above, India had a Daily Active Use rate of 3.49% whichdoes not seem very impressive until we analyze this in the context of the app’s growth since June 2015. During June 2015, the app was only used by 0.21% of Anrdoid users on the average day and that has increased almost every month since then. Furthermore, when looking at the rate of Current Installs- the percent of Android devices that have the app installed on them, the number has been climbing even higher. In June of 2015, the app was installed on just 0.50% of Indian Android devices, and that has since shot up to 8.69% in May 2016, a growth of 1638%.
Finally, its just not the developing world where Facebook Lite has seen its popularty grow. In the USA, UK, and Australia, installs of Facebook Lite have risen steadily since the app was launched in June 2015. These figures are still low, and in May 2016, the app was only installed on 0.26% of US Android devices, but that still represents a growth of 1200%.