Updated from 2:25 p.m. to include analyst comments in the ninth paragraph.
Facebook is one of several companies that are looking to break into and capitalize on new audiences that will become available once accessibility in emerging countries increases, said Arvind Bhatia, an analyst with Sterne Agee CRT. "It's part of Facebook's desire to reach as wide an audience worldwide as possible," Bhatia said.
Bhatia also noted that launching an app in emerging countries is the right move Facebook for both now and in the future.
"I think this is less about revenue because as you can imagine developing countries with lower GDP make it less about revenue today," Bhatia said in a phone conversation. "It's really more about revenue down the road, so this is more about continuing to increase their user base and continuing to increase engagement in countries that may otherwise might not have had access for it."
Facebook Lite now is available in countries across Asia, and will expand into parts of Latin America, Africa and Europe in the coming weeks.
In the first quarter, Facebook reported $3.3 billion in revenue from advertising worldwide. Of that, $524 million came from the Asia-Pacific region and $346 million came from areas outside of the United States, Canada and Europe. Facebook said average revenue per user in the United States was seven times higher than those for users in the Asia-Pacific region and more than ten times higher in areas outside of the United States, Canada and Europe.