Facebook which is also the parent company of Instagram, WhatsApp and Marketplace, has launched a Lite version of its Instagram app in Africa. According to Facebook, the Lite version of its Instagram app has been in the works for about a year now and has already been test run in India, where the company is trying to fill the void left by India’s Government ban on TikTok.
The idea of Instagram Lite is to give more people in Africa (and other parts of the world where the lite app is relevant) the opportunity of being part of an entertaining community and spend less while they do so. This is nevertheless Facebook’s strategy in maximizing opportunities and ensuring that its platform becomes widespread in the emerging markets. The new app is reportedly about 2MB and saves a lot of data for users. Since the app takes little space on the user’s phone, it will be able to load faster and will consume less battery while also loading very fast on 3G network. But there are downsides to this…
The new app does not have Instagram Reels, Shopping and IGTV. The app is also devoid of Instagram AR filters and effects like cube transitions. According to Facebook, ‘the team focused on what people valued most, namely video and messaging, which remote dwellers use more actively than their urban counterparts’. Although Instagram Lite may not have this exciting features, it has Instagram features like GIF and stickers and dark mode for the app is already on its way.
Instagram Lite was officially launched in 170 countries and launched in Sub-Saharan Africa few days ago. Explaining how the app is a better option and would really be useful for people in Africa, Peter Shin; the Engineering Manager for Instagram Lite said that, ‘Connectivity in the region can be unstable, slow and expensive, making it challenging for people to have a high-quality Instagram experience. Many people are already familiar with the concept of a Lite app after the successful roll-out of Facebook Lite some years ago. We started testing the new version of Instagram Lite when people across the continent started asking for a Lite app for Android. The feedback was very positive and we are excited to launch it across the continent today’.
Facebook Lite has had about a billion Android downloads since it was launched by the company in 2018. The iOS version was discontinued because the Facebook Lite app did not bring the features of devices that run on this OS to life. In this regard, there will be no Instagram Lite for iOS devices.
Instagram Lite already has over ten million downloads on Google Play; this might be evidence that proves that the app would be successful. It shows that Facebook is really working on carrying everybody along. ‘Our team aims to leave no one behind, so today we are very excited to bring Instagram Lite to people in over 170 countries, including the entire Sub-Saharan region’, Peter Shin; the Engineering Manager for Instagram lite concluded.