Facebook is taking another stab at Instagram Lite. The new stripped-down version of the app comes in a 2MB package for Android users. It focuses on images, video, and messaging sans the extra flourishes seen on the regular 30MB Instagram app.
The new Instagram Lite was developed by Facebook’s Tel Aviv team, which also worked on Facebook Lite and Messenger Lite. That team understands that the “Lite” version of apps is supposed to function well on smartphones that lack storage capacity and processing power. And they need to work in areas with unreliable data connections.
“Our teams build these lightweight versions of our apps for people with low connectivity or limited data plans because our basic premise is to leave no one behind,” said Tzach Hadar, director of Product Management at Facebook Tel Aviv. “We wanted the Instagram experience to remain fast, high-quality and reliable, irrespective of the device, platform and network people are on.”
Instagram Lite still has the main feed, Stories, and Reels (in countries where available). But according to The Verge, you can’t make Reels videos in the Lite app. There won’t be IG Live or Shopping either. Live filters and other AR effects aren’t available, but less data-intensive features like GIFs and stickers are still available.
The team even took out icons that it said didn’t “make sense to new digital users.” This includes the trash icon, which is replaced with an “X.” The former didn’t resonate with them as a symbol for getting rid of something.
Instagram Lite doesn’t just take things away. It added something, too. The app gets a Dark Mode option, replacing the bright white background with a black one with gray text.
“For people who live in communal areas and close quarters, it’s really important to browse more privately and not bother those around them,” explains Michelle Lourie, product manager on the Tel Aviv team.
The new Instagram Lite app is available in over 170 countries through the Google Play Store. And Facebook plans to roll it out globally soon.
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