Facebook launches new Instagram Lite app for those with data and connectivity constraints

Instagram Lite Official Render
Instagram Lite Official Render (Image credit: Facebook)

What you need to know

  • Facebook has launched an all-new app called Instagram Lite for those in developing markets.
  • Instagram Lite is designed to take up less space and use much less data than the main app.
  • The new app will be rolling out to over 170 countries worldwide over the coming months.

Today, social networking giant Facebook announced the launch of an all-new app aimed at connecting even more of the world's population. The new app is called Instagram Lite, and it is a trimmed-down version of one of the company's most popular and most successful platforms — Instagram. The new app was built from the ground-up, based on the frameworkds and lessons learned from the popular Facebook Lite app, which has over 200 monthly active users.

Most, but not all, of the core services from the main Instagram app will work on the Lite version, including popular messaging features. Instagram Lite users will be able to view the popular short-form video service called Reels, though they won't be able to upload Reels of their own (at least, not initially), and they will still have access to other popular features such as text markup, stickers, and filters.

Instagram Lite resulted from a collaboration between Facebook's offices in Tel Aviv, Isreal, and New York City. Facebook representatives said that the goal of developing the new app was to deliver the same core user experience as the main Instagram app but to do so in a way that would require much less space to download and would use much less data to operate. Instagram Lite only requires 2MB of space on a phone, compared to over 30MB for the main Instagram app and over 100MB for other popular Android apps.

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, Project Manager

Facebook's research told them that, for example, one out of three smartphone users in India see a low storage warning on their device each day. Other users in developing markets are connected to 2G or slower networks or experience data caps or expensive data charges, while still others share devices with family members.

A spokesperson from the Instagram Lite team at Facebook mentioned that the app has been active and in testing in countries like India, Morocco, and Venezuela, by users with phones as old as the original Samsung Galaxy, up to more modern, but lower specced phones including some of the best cheap Android phones on the market.

Instagram Lite will be rolling out to users in 170 countries worldwide starting today. Check the Google Play Store to see if it is available in your region.

Jeramy Johnson

Jeramy was the Editor-in-Chief of Android Central. He is proud to help *Keep Austin Weird* and loves hiking in the hill country of central Texas with a breakfast taco in each hand.