Facebook shuts down Lite site

Lite was introduced in September to offer a simpler option to users

Facebook has closed Lite, the stripped-down version of its site aimed at users who wanted a simpler experience than the main site offers.

Lite, launched in September of last year, was seen as an attractive option for users with slow Internet connections, for new users still learning their way around Facebook and for regular users wanting a less busy interface.

Lite let people build a list of friends, write on Walls, send messages and post and share photos and videos, but excluded the now more than 500,000 applications built by external developers for the site.

At the time of Lite's launch, concerns were raised that if the bare-bones version of the site caught on with a significant amount of members, usage of Facebook applications might suffer.

In its latest official stats, Facebook reports that every month more than 70 percent of its members use at least one site application.

Industry observers also saw Lite as Facebook's attempt to attract users drawn to the fast-growing Twitter, the micro-blogging and social networking service known for it minimalist philosophy towards layout and functionality.

In its brief statement announcing Lite's shutdown, Facebook didn't offer any explanations for its decision.

"Thanks to everyone who tried out Facebook Lite. 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," reads an announcement the company posted Tuesday on its official page on the site.

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Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
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