A number of users have been reporting being asked to beta-test "Facebook Lite", a service which - according to the blurb sent to testers - is a "faster, simpler version of Facebook".

The results, according to screenshots, match that prediction with some saying that it looks like a simplified version of FriendFeed, or further Twitter-ification of the news feed. However, Facebook has responded and said that its rollout to so many people was an accident.

The social networking giant has told TechCrunch that the reality is nothing to do with recently acquired FriendFeed or competitor Twitter - instead it's designed for third world countries that have slow, expensive broadband connections and can't cope with the full Facebook site.

It's currently testing in India, and the plan is to roll it out to Russia and China, too. The idea is that the site retains most of the the core functionality of the full product, but has considerably reduced load times. Now that the company has saturated most of the Western world, it's looking further afield.

We'll keep you informed of the progress of Facebook Lite as it rolls out.