A lightweight version of Facebook messenger which consumes just 10MB is coming with no unnecessary features.
"We're excited to bring Messenger Lite to Android users in four new markets, including Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom and the USA", a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch. It originally launched in five countries, Kenya, Tunisia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Venezuela, in October 2016. There are no indications for an iOS version and Facebook has no plans to launch it.
According to Facebook, with over a billion people still being without faster 3G and 4G network coverage, these slimmed-down apps are essential to attract more users in new markets.
Messenger Lite does not have the additional features that Facebook has on the full app like video/voice calls, GIFs, Spotify and Lyft extensions and Chat Heads, but the sheer speed and low-data use more than make up for it in the eyes of stateside Android users. This move to bring the Lite app in developed markets with proven high speed internet means that the company can now target people who like to cut costs but, not necessarily like to give up using their phones for chatting. The app has its own personal assistant, and now every time you open it you're also hit in the face with all your friend's Stories.
The Lite version of Facebook Messenger includes all of the key features of the messaging tool, but strips out some of the extras such as Day and lenses. Google, for instance, has developed alternate versions of its suite of apps like Maps and Search that are light on data use, which they have been testing in Indonesia.
Mr Marcus said people use the apps for different reasons and they are not in direct competition. Teens with limited data usage may find it appealing, as could older folks on a budget. People can also use the app to manage groups. Currently, Messenger Lite is available in over 100 countries.
In India, the Messenger Lite app allows users to send and receive texts, photos, links, emojis, and stickers.