With the global launch of Facebook Lite for Android users will give advertisers an edge in accessing consumers in developing regions across Asia, especially in India and Indonesia. This new app will run on less than one megabyte of data, reducing installation and load times, but has enough capacity to access news feed, status updates, notifications and photos. This for marketers opens a new way in reaching consumers in both rural and urban areas where 3G and 4G networks are either limited or expensive.
A lighter version of Facebook can now mean better relationships between brands and consumers. “This isn’t just about reaching out to new users but making it easier for advertisers as well,” says Madan Sanglikar, co-founder and managing director for Indonesia at mobile marketing agency, Affle.
This new Facebook Lite platform is currently supporting 51 languages and will give users access to mostly a full Facebook experience. But features like video, which requires faster connections and more data, may not be available which will mean that brands will be required to create a different set of content or different connections. The implication in reach would be far greater.
Thailand, Pakistan and Cambodia will be the first markets to gain access to Facebook Lite with neighbouring countries in Asia will likely to have access followed by parts of Latin America, Europe and Africa. The tool will be particularly welcome in developing markets such as India and Indonesia which both have high Facebook penetration, large numbers of Android phone users and limited Internet infrastructure beyond key urban centers.
It is estimated that more than a billion people around the world access Facebook from a range of mobile devices on varying networks and the numbers will keep on rising. These figures make Asia increasingly important to Facebook advertisers. For example, India is set to surpass the U.S. next year as the largest population of mobile phone Facebook users at 155.4 million. Indonesia is the third largest market for mobile Facebook users worldwide, with eMarketer expecting it to reach 72.3 million next year.