Instagram is launching a 2MB Lite app in 170 countries. The first version of Instagram Lite, which required only 573 kilobytes, was launched in 2018 and pulled off from the playstore last year, after just two years.
Instagram says the bigger lite version allows for more features including the Reels Tab, ability to send DMs, and record and post videos. The app will however not feature a shop tab which is available on the 30MB regular Instagram app.
Instagram Lite will be available for Android Phones. The Lite app means users can use it even with slower 2G networks found in parts of India, Africa, Asia and Latin America where advanced technology is still not available.
“These are the markets where there is the greatest need,” said Tzach Hadar, director of product management at Facebook in Tel Aviv, where the app was largely developed.
Facebook has not revealed the 170 countries, but Africa and Asia are bound to be prioritized. The company worked with its international team in New York and Tel Aviv to develop the revamped app.
“It uses a lot less data so if you have a small data package you are not going to run out when you use the service. But the aim is for us to give the same breadth of experience you get on Instagram,” he told Reuters.
The Facebook app has had a Lite version for at least five years now. Meanwhile, Facebook in Tel Aviv has developed the Express WiFi service in efforts to make internet in Africa, Asia, and South America accessible to more users.
Hadar, said that the team was now developing a digital wallet for Facebook.
“You have close to 2 billion people that have no access or limited access to banks and financial services and there are tens of billions of dollars being spent just for fees for migrants wanting to send money back to their families,” he said.