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Instagram launches data conscious 2MB Lite version on Android

Instagram Lite, Facebook

This is something I am sure a lot of you out there have been waiting for. Instagram, or more accurately the folks over at Facebook, has finally launched a lite version of the popular social media app.

Saving data is the mantra

If you have ever used Instagram you’ll know that it is a massive data consumer. This is especially bad in Zimbabwe because of the cost of data bundles (even those specific for Instagram) as well as storage on devices. The Instagram app itself is around 30MB, so yeah it’s not very friendly to many in emerging markets.

In light of this Facebook has created a more data conscious Lite version of the app. Facebook is taking much of this from the Lite version of its own app and applying those lessons and features to Instagram Lite.

“No matter where they are, people want to be entertained and inspired by those that they love. It’s difficult to do that on Instagram with an entry-level phone that has storage constraints.”

Michelle Lourie, Facebook

For starters, Instagram Lite will only be 2MB download form the Play Store. This makes it roughly 6% of the bulkier version of the application.

Insta Lite Features

There are no discernable differences between the two apps. Instagram lite looks and feels much like the full version. Users will get, the same feed, Reels, stickers, create and view Stories, IGTV and the Explore discovery and recommendation algorithms.

To improve the overall appearance and performance of story transitions and the likes. Those animations have been simplified so you get the same look and feel as the full-fat Instagram app.

“We wanted the Instagram experience to remain fast, high-quality, and reliable, irrespective of the device, platform, and network people are on.”

Tzach Hadar, Director of Product Management at Facebook Tel Aviv

As with anything that is termed Lite, there is no IG Live or dark mode yet. However, these are features that will come as Instagram Lite is developed and improved. And the other elephant in the room is obviously “why is there an iOS version of the app?”. Well… compared to the sheer number of people on Android in emerging markets as opposed to iOS. It makes sense that Facebook focused on that market first and maybe down the road there will be an iOS version of the application.

All in all, this is a really good move by Facebook/Instagram. Now more people even more people can enjoy Instagram and not have to worry about deleting to create space. Or being dissuaded from downloading it because of its size.

You can check out Instagram Lite for yourself with the link here


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