tech2 News StaffMar 11, 2021 10:25:50 IST
Similar to its offerings like the Facebook Lite and Messenger Lite app, Facebook has rolled out a ‘lite’ version of the Instagram app. Purpose? The same – to give users with entry-level smartphones the ability to use the Instagram app with minimal data. Instagram Lite requires only 2 MB to download on Android, which is considerably less than the full-size version, which is closer to 30 MB. Facebook says that the Instagram Lite app retains most of the key features seen on the core Instagram app.
The Instagram Lite app does not include data-rich animation, such as cube transitions and the AR filters. The app also does not include the trash icon we see on the core Instragram app. Facebook says, “a trash can icon did not resonate as a symbol for getting rid of something, but an “X” rang clear.” However, the lite app comes with GIFs and stickers.
Facebook says the Instagram Lite app is now rolling out for Android users in 170 countries. The app will soon be rolled out globally as well.
The Instagram Lite app has been developed by Facebook’s team in Tel Aviv (that also developed the Facebook Lite app) in a collaboration with a New York-based team including Instagram engineering, product, design, and research.
To create the lite app, the developers took a page from Facebook Lite – offloading into the cloud much of the code from the app running on the phone.
Facebook says slightly more than 63 percent of the world’s population is online, as opposed to nearly 90 percent in North America. Only around 50 percent of households in India have access to the internet.
“Our teams build these lightweight versions of our apps for people with low connectivity or limited data plans because our basic premise is to leave no one behind,” adds Tzach Hadar, Director of Product Management at Facebook Tel Aviv, one of the largest strategic engineering hubs for Facebook globally. “We wanted the Instagram experience to remain fast, high-quality, and reliable, irrespective of the device, platform, and network people are on.”
Facebook has been testing Instagram Lite app in select regions – including India – since December 2020. Last month, Instagram Lite was updated with the ability to let users view Reels by going to the dedicated Reels tab. However, they still can’t create new Reels which can be done on the core Instagram app, and now also on the Facebook app.