Facebook testing Twitter-like 'Lite' versionAugust 12th, 2009 in Technology / Internet
Front page of the Facebook website. Facebook announced on Monday that it has acquired FriendFeed, a startup which allows members to see what their friends are doing online and share content.
The Internet was buzzing Wednesday with talk of Facebook testing a streamlined "Lite" version of the social-networking service that could challenge microblogging sensation Twitter.
"We are currently testing a simplified alternative to Facebook.com that loads a specific set of features quickly and efficiently," the Internet star said in reply to an AFP inquiry.
"Similar to the Facebook experience you get on your mobile phones, Facebook Lite is a fast-loading, simplified version of Facebook that enables people to make comments, accept Friend requests, write on people's Walls, and look at photos and Status updates."
Facebook Lite is being tested in India and other countries where new users flooding to the service "are looking to start off with a more simple experience," according to the Palo Alto, California-based firm.
A test website at lite.facebook.com was accidently opened to an expanded audience on Tuesday night, but the slip was caught and traffic routed to standard Facebook pages.
Invitations to take part in a private test of "Facebook Lite" evidently reached a variety of US bloggers only to have the enclosed links vanish a short time later.
"Lite" screen shots captured and posted online revealed a Facebook page devoted to fresh comments and updates from friends in a style that could challenge the real-time interplay at Twitter.
Facebook said that the 12 employees of the Mountain View, California-based FriendFeed will join Facebook and its four founders will hold senior roles on Facebook's engineering and product teams.
The acquisition of FriendFeed and testing of "Facebook Lite" follows social-networking star's failed attempt last year to buy Twitter.
FriendFeed has been described as a potential rival to Twitter in its ability to conduct real-time search, an area where Facebook has been seeking to expand.
Facebook is the fastest growing social network on the Internet and has more than 250 million members.
(c) 2009 AFP
"Facebook testing Twitter-like 'Lite' version." August 12th, 2009. http://phys.org/news/2009-08-facebook-twitter-like-lite-version.html