In a surprise move, Facebook rolled out dark mode to its ‘Lite’ app before its standard mobile experience.
We knew Facebook was working on a dark mode for its apps for some time. It started with the announcement of a visual refresh — dubbed Facebook 5 — that was unveiled at the company’s 2019 F8 developer conference. The new design mimicked Facebook’s Messenger app redesign and rolled out to mobile shortly after. The desktop version of the refresh began rolling out to some users earlier this year.
Since the Facebook app and desktop experience were shifting to match the Messenger experience, it seemed likely that Facebook would gain dark mode as Messenger had it. Additionally, tinkerer Jane Manchun Wong uncovered code in the Facebook app that confirmed the social media giant was developing dark mode.
However, while everyone was waiting for Facebook to roll out dark mode in its main app, the company snuck it out in its Facebook Lite app. Lite is a version of Facebook designed for people with slower connections, or for people who want to save on data usage. It’s also a lot smaller, coming at 2.21MB compared to the normal Facebook app’s 159MB, making it a great pairing for phones without a lot of storage.
How to enable dark mode on Facebook Lite
To use dark mode on Facebook Lite, make sure you’ve updated to the latest version. Then, head to the Settings tab by tapping the three-line symbol in the top right corner of the app. Scroll down a little way and you should see an option to toggle dark mode on or off.
Frustratingly, Facebook Lite’s dark mode doesn’t follow the Android system dark mode toggle. In other words, you’ll have to manually open Facebook Lite and switch the toggle whenever you want to enable or disable dark mode.
Further, iOS users in Canada are out of luck at the moment. Facebook Lite currently isn’t available on the App Store in Canada.
Hopefully, this means the regular Facebook app will get dark mode in the near future. It seems to be the odd one out at this point, with Facebook Lite joining Facebook’s other dark mode apps, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp.
You can download Facebook Lite for free on the Play Store.