(PhysOrg.com) -- The social networking site Facebook has begun testing a simpler, no-frills alternative to its regular interface. The cleaner, uncluttered interface is particularly aimed at entry-level users new to social networking, and to users with low bandwidth, but it may also appeal to users tired of all the distractions and unused complications on the regular interface. And it is simple enough to grasp Twitter by the horns.
Facebook Lite is similar to the original Facebook and to the mobile phone experience of Facebook, with a wall you can write on, a profile, friends list, and not much more. You can post messages on your own wall or other people's walls, and you can post photos and videos and keep in touch with your friends and view their postings.
Gone is the panel on the right with requests, sponsored links, highlights and suggestions you contact people you've never heard of, which is replaced by a simple "People you may know" section. Also gone is the panel on the left with news feeds, pages, and so on. The notifications window and chat features down the bottom of the screen have also been removed for the more basic Lite version. The simplifications mean the site loads much more quickly.
The new format will be optional, and apart from appealing to those with a slow or dial-up connection, it may well be the interface of choice for those users who are not interested in doing quizzes or games, or in niceties like heart requests, farm requests or book chuck requests, but who just want to keep in touch.
By simplifying the interface and concentrating on the exchange of short messages, Facebook Lite becomes more of a rival to the prime social networking site, Twitter.
Facebook Lite rivals Twitter in the ease of posting short status updates (microblogging) and could challenge Twitter for eventual supremacy in this field. If you are more interested in following celebrities, Twitter is still ahead, but Facebook Lite is much easier to use if you just want to stay connected to your friends and family.
The interface is currently being tested, and is not yet available everywhere. If you have access to the new interface, Facebook Lite would like your feedback.
© 2009 PhysOrg.com
Explore further: Slow start, gradual improvement for US Internet gambling