Technology

Internet giants browse Africa for new markets

Three years ago Facebook launched a lite version of its social media application for Africa. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Three years ago Facebook launched a lite version of its social media application for Africa. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

America’s Internet giants are wooing African users with no-frills versions of their applications as they seek new avenues for growth, having reached near-saturation in their home markets.

These pared down, “lite” applications are designed to occupy less space on the mobile device and to consume less data, appealing to a pocket-conscious Internet user. They also adapt to patchy network with features that allow offline operations.

Google this week announced the expansion of WebLite, an app that will allow customers to load pages on its browser up to three times faster even as it eats up 80 per cent less data.

“The new development is aimed at improving the search experience for millions of people where network connections are slow and access to devices is limited,” said Google Kenya Country Manager, Mr Charlse Murito.