India gets Messenger Lite to cope with low Internet connectivity

FACEBOOK has rolled out the “light” version of its Messenger app in India to allow those with poor mobile Internet connectivity to use the service.

At just 10MB, the app doesn’t require much data to download and install while still supporting all the core functions of the full app like messaging, sending and receiving photos and links, receiving stickers and even voice calling.

The stripped-down version debuted globally last October when it was introduced in countries like Kenya, Tunisia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Venezuela, but is only just coming to India this week.

“Messenger Lite is a lightweight, fast and simpler version that offers the core features of the app for markets with slower than average Internet speeds and a prevalence of basic Android smartphones,” Facebook told The Quint in a statement.

It’s not the first app to get a rework to make it useable in countries where mobile Internet speeds can be slow, being preceded by Facebook Lite, Twitter Lite and YouTube Go.

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What’s missing from the app are the more resource-intensive features like video streaming, games and video calling. But tests by Livemint found the app loads a lot faster than the original and uses just 90MB of your phone’s RAM compared to 300MB by the regular app.

The app was launched on the same day Facebook announced the global roll-out of adverts on the homepage of the original app after successful trials in Australia and Thailand. It’s not clear whether this will apply to Messenger Lite, too, but the company may be looking to expand the pool of users able to use the app and therefore, become targets for advertisers.