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Facebook Drops Facebook Lite

The slimmed-down version of the social networking site provided access to just the fundamentals of the full-fledged site.

Antone Gonsalves

April 21, 2010

2 Min Read

Facebook has pulled the plug on its stripped-down version launched seven months ago for people who prefer to access only the basic social networking tools quickly.

The company did not offer an explanation for dropping the slimmed-down site. Facebook Lite, launched in September 2009 in India and the United States, provided access to Facebook's most basic features, such as accepting friends' requests, updating profile status, and writing on friends' walls.

"Thanks to everyone who tried out Facebook Lite," the company said in a status update on the site. "We're no longer supporting it, but learned a lot from the test of a slimmed-down site. If you used Lite, you'll now be taken to the main Facebook.com site."

Posted comments on Lite's demise showed the site had been popular among people looking to avoid the clutter of the main site.

"Now I have to endure everybody's farmville and mafia wars posts... ugh," Facebook member Ryan Jairam said. "Now can we at least get some option to just view status updates, pics and links only and an option for us to leave that as the default?"

When it launched Facebook Lite, the company described it as a "lighter cousin" of the main site that would provide a "faster, simpler way to keep in touch with your friends." At the time, industry observers speculated that Facebook Lite could become a better fit for mobile devices or could morph into a microblogging service to challenge reigning champ Twitter.

Lite's end comes about two months after Facebook introduced a redesign of the main site that made it easier to navigate around the social network. Among the changes were putting some of the Facebook's more commonly used areas, such as pages, status updates and links, in a more prominent location.

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