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'Facebook Lite' App Targets Users in Sudan, Sri Lanka

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Facebook has quietly launched a stripped-down version of its mobile app, aimed at emerging market users with low-end mobile devices. The social media giant confirmed to CNBC on Monday that "Facebook Lite" was an official app. It is available in eight countries: Bangladesh, Vietnam, Nigeria, Nepal, South Africa, Sudan, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. Facebook Lite takes less than 1 megabyte of storage space, according to a description of the app on the Google Play store for Android apps –- substantially less than the standard app, which takes around 25MB of storage. The new app is designed for 2G networks and "areas with limited network connectivity." So far, it has been downloaded over 10,000 times and has a rating of 4.6 stars out of 5 on the app store. The move feeds in to the Menlo Park, CA-based company's plans to target the rapidly growing mobile user base in developing markets, and make the most of the slew of ultra-low cost mobile devices being launched in these markets. Facebook has been struggling with a slowing user growth, and has been pushing its emerging market agenda.

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--- Arjun Kharpal, CNBC

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