Facebook Shows a Glimpse of TwitternessBy: Chris Crum - September 11, 2009
Update: Facebook Lite is available in the US and India now. It can be found at lite.facebook.com.
Original Article: Facebook confused some users when it accidentally invited too many people to a beta test of what is being referred to as "Facebook Lite." Facebook Lite is basically a stripped down verson of the social network, which includes just status updates, likes, and comments, without things like activity stories, app stories, and embedded content.
Facebook Lite has been compared to Twitter and FriendFeed, due to its simplicity. This was probably particularly interesting to those users who experienced it, since Facebook just acquired FriendFeed, and Facebook has been known to go for more Twitter-esque approaches in some areas.
Was this a sign of Facebook to come? Not really. Facebook Lite is a version of Facebook being tested for countries with low-bandwidth. Inside Facebook offers screenshots like this one:
Yes, it does look quite similar to Twitter. Nicholas Carlson at Silicon Alley Insider makes a good point in that even if Facebook isn’t really going this direction, it still highlights the fact that at its core Facebook isn’t all that different from Twitter. Sure, it has some more bells and whistles, but at the end of the day, it’s main functions are very similar.
Who knows though? Twitter has a while to go before it reaches Facebook status, but if one day Twitter were to surpass Facebook in users, Facebook could conceivably go for something more like Facebook Lite. As noted, Facebook has done a variety of things that made it more like Twitter, and as you may recall, Facebook has been willing to implement radical redesigns, even when many users clearly objected.