Tools and Skills

Wave Bye-Bye to Bandwidth Killers. Meet the Light Weight Web.

Data Diet

The web is a bloated mess.

Just install the Ghostery browser extension to marvel at the number of trackers, beacons, widgets, and ad units that are clogging up your bandwidth and slowing down your browsing.

But it’s even worse for internet users in developing countries, many of whom rely on 2G and 3G networks on devices that have minimal memory.

Check out 7 ways everyone from Facebook to Google are appealing to those customers.

Facebook Lite

Facebook were among the first in the light weight web game, testing Facebook Lite way back in 2009, when it was rumored to be a Twitter competitor. The app officially launched in 2015; today, more than 200 million use the platform.

Messenger Lite

That’s not all from Facebook – their Messenger Lite app offers many of the same features as Messenger, requiring less than 10 MB to install. A few months back, Wired suggested everyone with an Android should be using the app.

Dial an Uber

In November, 2016 Uber launched the light weight, web-based Dial an Uber service for its customers in 29 cities in India. The service does not require an app, and drivers only accept cash.

Android Go

An operating system specifically designed for lower-cost devices with less than 1MB in memory, Android Go will ship in 2018.

CNN Lite

Individual news sites are also getting in on the light weight web, which can also provide assistance to people in disaster areas, where bandwidth is limited. CNN Lite was introduced in September, 2017 – all the news without any of the auto-play videos, intrusive ads, and inline images.

Text-Only NPR.org

The stripped-down Text-Only NPR.org actually began life in 2005 to cater to Blackberry users (remember them?). Blackberry might be gone, but the text-only site has lived on.

Google News Lite

Google News introduced a Lite Mode in September, 2016, which automatically activates when a slow network is detected.