On Tuesday Facebook said that it is launching a new mobile-friendly, "lite" version of the popular social networking site. Called "Zero," the new site focuses on low-bandwidth consumption by offering mostly text and a few small images. Now consumers can get a quick Facebook fix on the go without the need for a costly data plan.
"Zero is a light-weight version of m.facebook.com that omits data intensive applications like Photos," said Facebook rep Brandee Barker. "It will launch in coming weeks and we are discussing it at MWC as an option to make Facebook on the mobile web available to everyone, anywhere and allow operators to encourage more mobile Internet usage."
Many mobile providers may already support Facebook Zero--Verizon currently grants passage to the watered-down social networking site. However, an occasional message at the top of the page stating "your wireless carrier does not currently support Facebook Zero" indicates that Facebook has a few bugs to iron out.
Consumers wanting a meatier Facebook experience will need to upgrade their mobile service contract with a data plan (and a supported smartphone). But despite ripping out all the bandwidth hogging features that makes Facebook such a useful tool, users can still read Inbox messages and the latest news feed through the new site.
It's not pretty, but it's certainly functional.