Facebook Lite: Facebook Needed a Diet
From Mashable - Facebook Lite: Facebook Needed a Diet
Late last night [August 11 - Ed], news broke that Facebook was working on a 'Lite' version and had (perhaps accidentally) invited a number of people to try it out. In its own words, Facebook Lite is a 'faster, simpler version of Facebook.'
While it's still unclear exactly what the intended purpose of Facebook Lite might be - an even more direct competitor to Twitter or simply a Facebook that works better on slow connections - one thing is clear: Facebook needed a diet and Lite appears to be exactly that.
Facebook Has Become Complex
Once lauded for its simplicity, Facebook has evolved into an incredibly complex site. Many users still don't understand the difference between Pages and Profiles (a difference that's going to become increasingly blurred), or between Pages and Groups.
There are literally hundreds if not thousands of different privacy options which Facebook is now trying to streamline. And what was once a network just for college students now includes networks for high schools, companies, and, regional networks, though those are about to get killed off.
But Not Necessarily for the Better
And despite all of this feature bloat, many users still actually miss things that have been taken away or moved to the 'Highlights' area of the homepage, like birthdays and events. In fact, another rumor we recently reported on suggests that Facebook is set to soon 'undo' its Twitter-like homepage.
Could the social network be setting up to try and cater to two worlds: one that wants a focus on public facing status updates, and one that wants the information you used to get in the news feed, like new friends of friends and changes in relationship status? Perhaps that's what Facebook Lite is all about.
One Size Doesn't Fit All?
The biggest thing Facebook has going for it right now is that everyone is on it. Although admittedly I now spend more time on Twitter, I still often check Facebook because so many of my friends use it. But that's the exact same boat MySpace was in a couple years ago: the social network you checked because a big part of your social network was still on there.
However, at the moment, there are no signs that Facebook is slowing down, and overall, it's currently the Web's biggest time sink for users. All of this tinkering certainly makes it seems like they aren't resting on their laurels, but where exactly it's leading to is incredibly unclear at the moment.
But Facebook Lite - whatever it is - seems like an important part of keeping at least a certain segment of users happy. With a site whose population would make it one of the biggest countries in the world, offering more than one way to experience it might not be such a bad idea.