San Francisco: Facebook on Wednesday announced that it is rolling out the Lite version of Instagram app in 170 countries to provide high-quality experience of the photo and video-sharing app using minimal data foe people living in rural and remote communities.
As the iOS version of the app is not planned for now, the Instagram Lite app will be available only for Android users.
"Starting today, people in more than 170 countries will be able to download Instagram Lite in the Google Play Store to have a high-quality Instagram experience, no matter what network or device they're on. We will be rolling out the app globally soon," Facebook said.
According to Facebook, the new app requires only 2MB to download on Android considerably way less than the full-size version, which is closer to 30MB. However the app will retain the key features that people using entry-level devices want.
In order to keep those features on the smaller app, the team took a page from Facebook Lite that debuted a few years ago, by offloading into the cloud much of the code from the app running on the phone.
Among the features included in the app is the short video feature Reels.
The team has also removed much of the ornate, data-rich animation, such as cube transitions and the AR filters people can apply to faces to keep performance reliable.
However, they have kept features that could deliver joy with less data, like GIFs and stickers.
The Lite version will no feature certain icons that do not make sense to new digital users. For instance, a trash can icon did not resonate as a symbol for getting rid of something, but an "X" rang clear.
The relaunch of the Instagram Lite app comes after the app, which was originally launched in 2018, was pulled from the Play Store in spring of last year, The Verge reported.
The new Instagram Lite app began testing in India in December 2020.