Facebook is a great social network that has proven useful for personal and professional purposes. It’s one of those services that seems to stop the world every time they go down. It is the most popular social network by far. The Facebook app for Android has been downloaded more than five billion times, but you may have noticed that there is another version on the Google Play Store. What is the difference between Facebook and Facebook Lite?
The name is an obvious gift: Facebook Lite is practically a lighter version of the full Facebook application. This alternative Facebook app has a specific user and market in mind, and it has its own advantages as well as its own disadvantages. We’ll cover the details of Facebook vs Facebook Lite today and help you choose if the Lite app is for you or if you should stick with the standard Facebook app.
Related: The best alternative Facebook apps for Android
What is Facebook Lite?
The Facebook application is intended to offer the complete experience of the social network, with all its improvements, functions and tools, without compromises. As such it can be a very powerful and re consuming app, which is great for people without power, smartphone storage, or mobile data limitations, who want to get the full Facebook experience. However, this app may be too much for those who don’t have access to those luxuries.
Facebook Lite was created with more casual users, affordable phone owners, and developing markets in mind. It is a much less demanding application that reduces Facebook to its main functionality. Simply put, Facebook Lite is a basic version of the full Facebook application.
You might be wondering if it would be better to use Facebook than Facebook Lite. Let’s go over some of the main differences.
Why Facebook Lite is better
Let’s start with the reasons that make Facebook Lite a better alternative for the right user.
Facebook Lite is a much smaller app
Some of you may have phones with very little storage space to spare. This is often the case with affordable phones. This is especially a problem, considering that the Facebook application is by no means small.
The exact file size will vary by phone, but we’ve done a clean download with a Pixel 4a running 5G and it weighs 162MB. Meanwhile, Facebook Lite is only 2.51MB on the same phone. As you can see, the difference is huge.
If you often run out of storage space, you might want to consider sticking with Facebook Lite.
Plus: How to free up storage space on Android
You can use Messenger on Facebook Lite
The normal Facebook application forces you to download Facebook Messenger to chat with your contacts. This is not the case with Facebook Lite, which allows you to chat directly from the application itself. Just tap on the Messenger tab and type.
You won’t have to download a secondary app for your messaging needs, saving you more valuable storage space. You can download Facebook Messenger Lite if you prefer, but it is not required.
Facebook Lite uses less internet data
Mobile data is something that many city dwellers and citizens of developed countries do not have to worry about often. We have 4G and 5G bandwidth to spare, but mobile data is much more limited in other areas. If your plan has you limited, if you live in a 2G / 3G area, or you have poor reception, you have to watch your data consumption. This is something that makes the choice between Facebook and Facebook Lite obvious.
Facebook Lite is designed to work well even at 2G speeds. It does a few things to make sure this is possible. Images are not preloaded to begin with so they will download and display as you scroll down. This is good for saving your precious megabytes, but it also slows down the experience a bit. Videos will not automatically play on Facebook Lite, unless connected to Wi-Fi.
Too: The best data saving apps for Android
If you are not satisfied with all that saved data, you can make some adjustments to the settings, including lowering the photo quality, lowering the video quality, or even turning on Data Saver. All of these options will help you keep data usage to a minimum. Not to mention, downloading the app itself will require significantly less data.
You can definitely tell the difference in quality, but the advantages may be worth that sacrifice. Facebook Lite will be much faster and easier in your use of the Internet.
Facebook Lite looks cleaner
We have mentioned that one of the most significant differences between Facebook and Facebook Lite is that it is much simpler, and this is also evident in the general appearance of the application. The user interface is much cleaner and some of you may prefer it to the aesthetics of the normal Facebook app.
The icons keep a more streamlined design and there are far fewer random options that get in the way. Post comments rarely appear in your News Feed, which helps to maintain a neat interface. Notifications also seem a lot more streamlined, actually fitting more on a single screen, eliminating the need to scroll as much.
Why you might want to stick with Facebook
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
Those trying to solve the Facebook vs. Facebook Lite dilemma might end up realizing that sacrifices aren’t enough to change. Let’s go over some of the reasons why the original Facebook app might be a better option.
Photo and video quality
Images and videos look better in the normal Facebook app, unless you change the settings. This is not a bad thing for many of you, but having better image quality is definitely a good thing.
Does Facebook have more features?
We will be honest and say that we cannot find essential features that are missing from Facebook Lite. We have the news service, Marketplace, stories, videos, reels, the friends section and Messenger. You can even play games, manage events, check the dating section, and manage announcements, among other things. However, Facebook swears that some features are missing in Facebook Lite. Having more is always better than having less, so we’ll say that Facebook is a better bet in this department, even if we can’t find much that we can’t do on Facebook Lite.
Next: Facebook not working for you? Here’s how to fix it
The only change that we think could be important is the lack of a share option on Facebook Lite. What is also true is that everything is less than a tap away in the full Facebook application. Comments are shown more frequently and seem to be done more automatically in the background. The menu section also seems more dynamic and interactive, full of shortcuts and tips.
This won’t be a problem for our fellow Android users, as Facebook Lite is widely available on the Google Play Store, but a downside could make you opt for Facebook, rather than Facebook Lite. The app is not available everywhere for iOS users. For example, we can’t get Facebook Lite for iOS in the US This means that many of you can’t get Facebook Lite, even if you wanted to.
Facebook vs Facebook Lite: the verdict
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
The full Facebook app will offer a more complete experience if you don’t have storage, data, performance, or power limitations. It comes with the full Facebook experience, no compromises. Facebook also likely wants you to experience their platform.
That said, it’s also true that we didn’t miss much during our tests with Facebook Lite. Sure, the images and videos didn’t look that great, but they weren’t really bad either. The lack of preload made things a bit slower, but that also means saving data for what matters, and the wait was usually a second or two. You’ll notice it, but it won’t steal your day. Some may even like the user interface a bit more.
If you have data speed issues or have an older phone with little storage space, we say Facebook Lite will do you just fine. It could even be a convenient alternative for those who don’t necessarily need to ration, but want to keep their Facebook experience low-key. Some might even benefit from having Facebook and Messenger in one application.