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Facebook Launches Instagram Lite With Its Eyes Set on the Developing World

June 28, 2018, 11:10 AM UTC

Instagram’s quest for global domination isn’t yet complete.

The photo-sharing social network launched Instagram Lite on Wednesday, a stripped-down version of the popular app aimed particularly at users in developing countries.

The app, which appeared on the Google Play Store for Android on Wednesday, describes Instagram Lite as “small, allowing you to save space on your phone and download it quickly.” According to TechCrunch, the app is just 573 kilobytes, or 1/55th the size of the 32 megabyte regular app.

Many of the standard Instagram features remain in the lite version: you can filter and post photos to your feed or Stories, watch Stories, browse the Explore section, and search for other users. However, unlike the full version of the app, Instagram Lite users will not be able to share videos or direct message their friends.

In much of the developing world, mobile users frequently have older devices with less storage space, slower network connections, or smaller data plans. These elements often make Instagram run very slowly, or force the users to delete other items that take up storage space in order to run the app. Instagram Lite is intended to address these issues, allowing these users to access the app more easily.

An Instagram spokesperson told TechCrunch that “We are testing a new version of Instagram for Android that takes up less space on your device, uses less data, and starts faster.” The app reportedly began testing in Mexico this week, with plans to expand it to more countries later this year. It also plans to eventually build messaging and video posting capabilities into the lite version of the app.