Facebook has announced a Lite version of its Android app for use by people in areas with poor network connections.
The company said that it is committed to increasing the availability of its services in places where connecting to the internet can be difficult, using its much criticised Internet.org as one mechanism.
Facebook Lite, which launches in Asia first, will eventually come to Europe, according to the firm, offering a lightweight installation of under 1MB.
"More than a billion people around the world access Facebook from a range of mobile devices on varying networks," said Vijay Shankar, product manager for Facebook Lite.
"In many areas, networks can be slow and not able to support all the functionality found in Facebook for Android."
Shankar explained that Facebook Lite provides a reliable Facebook experience when bandwidth is at a minimum.
"Facebook Lite is less than 1MB so it is fast to install and quick to load. It includes Facebook's core experiences like News Feed, status updates, photos, notifications and more," he said.
"Starting today, we are rolling out Facebook Lite in countries across Asia, and over the coming weeks it will be available in parts of Latin America, Africa and Europe."
If this is part of the Internet.org push it will be based on the idea that the cost of data holds back connections in poorer countries.
Internet.org has not been well received in some quarters, however, and critics in India have accused Facebook of less than benevolent intentions.
"While you have been making people believe that Internet.org is a not-for-profit initiative to ensure maximum connectivity to those billions still unconnected, there is a huge confusion and insecurity that is evident from several efforts that are also trying to push Facebook in the name of Internet.org," wrote Osama Manzar in an open letter to Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg as the operation moved to India.
"As far as Internet.org is concerned, please concentrate on ensuring open access and widespread network access, which will not only secure you more business but mirror ethical conduct."
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