Instagram is now the latest Facebook-owned app to get a lightweight version. Unsurprisingly called Instagram Lite, the app has now been launched in the Google Play Store albeit without much fanfare and barely measures 1 MB. Even at that size, though, it still packs a punch. It’ll let users add filters to photos and share them as posts or Stories, and it’ll also let them watch Stories and browse the Explore page. What it can’t do, at least for now, is let users share videos or send friends direct messages, but that’s completely acceptable considering it’s 55 times smaller than its main counterpart.
Instagram Lite is a great solution for developing countries, and it also addresses many of the problems that are persistent across a great number of mobile users, including insufficient storage and low-speed internet. Plus, some people simply can’t afford big mobile data packages, and if they could, why would they waste it by downloading an app? Some users do resort to workarounds, though. They delete other apps and photos to free up storage, but with Instagram Lite, they wouldn’t have to.
Instagram Lite Comes To The Play Store
Instagram has confirmed that it is, indeed, testing a Lite version. “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 said, as TechCrunch reports. The company declined to say whether ads will appear in the Lite app but did confirm it will launch to more countries later this year and then get more capabilities such as posting video and direct messaging.
It appears Facebook is the first company to release Lite versions of its most prominent apps. There are also Lite versions for Facebook and Messenger, with their release an indication that the company is being very smart about catering to all kinds of audiences by removing the barriers that prevent developing countries from using its apps. The Lite trend has been so successful, in fact, that Uber released a Lite app earlier this June.
What This Means For Snapchat
With this change, Instagram may end up seeing an uptick in its growth from the developing world. By contrast, Snapchat has largely ignored international markets to focus on U.S. teens, leaving the door open for Instagram to come in and swoop those users with its own Snapchat clone. Instagram Lite could also end up being a money maker if ads appear on the platform, which they likely will.
Instagram Lite is now available on the Play Store. Just note that availability varies by country.