Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
Facebook is launching a new, lighter version of its Messenger app called Messenger Lite. This slimmed-down version of Facebook Messenger is being targeted at people in developing countries. This will enable those with crappy smartphones or spotty internet services to enjoy Facebook Messenger just like the rest of us.
There are plenty of countries where the fully fledged Facebook Messenger is too large, resource-hungry, or reliant on a good internet connection to perform. Which is where Messenger Lite comes in.
Tom Mulcahy, an engineer at Facebook, explains everything in a post on the Facebook Newsroom. He suggests that Messenger Lite is designed to further the social network’s goal to “empower people all over the world to stay connected”. Messenger Lite is therefore aimed at markets with “slower than average internet speeds and a prevalence of basic Android smartphones”.
Messenger Lite “offers the core features of Messenger” such as “messaging, sending and receiving photos and links, and receiving stickers”. It will be the extraneous features such as Stories and Chatbots that get axed.
Messenger Lite is designed to be “lightweight, fast, and simple”. And the app itself comes it at under 10MB. It’s initially available to download in Kenya, Tunisia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Venezuela, with other countries added in the coming months.
Facebook Is Seeking Global Domination
More than 1 billion people worldwide now use Facebook Messenger. Which is an astonishing figure when you realize the total global population stands at 7.4 billion. While most companies would be over the moon with such impressive numbers, Facebook is never going to settle for anything less than global domination.
Interestingly, Messenger Lite is only being released on Android because very few people in developing countries can afford iPhones. Hence Android’s 86 percent market share. Perhaps Apple should follow Facebook’s example and start catering to the rest of the world.
Will you be downloading Messenger Lite when it becomes available in your country? Do you find Facebook Messenger a drain on resources? Could you live in a country with spotty internet coverage? Which app would you miss the most? Please let us know in the comments below!