With over 1 billion monthly active users, Instagram is one of the most popular mobile apps out there, and a huge win for Facebook, which acquired the photo-sharing service for $1 billion six years ago. And Instagram isn’t done growing. The company is looking to get more customers from emerging markets, and that’s why Instagram quietly launched Instagram Lite on Android.
“We are testing a new version of Instagram for Android that takes up less space on your device, uses less data, and starts faster,” a spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch.
The Instagram Lite app measures just 573KB, which is only 1/55th the size of the full Instagram app for Android.
The idea behind Lite apps is that users will likely rely on older hardware with less storage than the latest Android phones out there. Furthermore, smartphone owners in emerging market may pay more for mobile internet, and mobile networks might be slower than what most of us are used to.
Because Instagram Lite is so nimble, users will not have to worry about added costs, or having to delete other apps to install the main Instagram application. But, for Instagram, these aren’t reasons to stop people from enjoying the photo-sharing service in emerging markets.
The Instagram Lite app has almost the same features as the main application. You’ll be able to post photos, use filters, access Stories, and use the Explore page. But you won’t be able to share videos or Direct message your friends.
That might still be a good enough experience for many smartphone users in emerging markets. The Lite app is available in Mexico for the time being, but it’ll roll out to other markets soon.