Facebook is launching a slimmed down version of its popular Messenger app for people with Android smartphones in emerging markets.
The chat app, known as Messenger Lite, is aimed at people who possess older and slower phones that aren’t capable of running all the latest Messenger features, due to storage limitations or network issues.
The basic app, announced via Facebook’s Newsroom on Sunday, is also designed to work well in parts of the world that experience slower internet speeds than those in the US and other developed countries.
“Furthering our goal to empower people all over the world to stay connected, today we’re launching a new app called Messenger Lite, a standalone version of Messenger for Android,” wrote Tom Mulcahy, Engineering Manager for Messenger Lite, in the news update.
“Messenger Lite is a slimmed down version of Messenger that offers the core features of Messenger for markets with slower than average internet speeds and a prevalence of basic Android smartphones. With Messenger Lite, people are able to quickly and easily send text, photos and links to anyone using Messenger or Messenger Lite.”
The Messenger Lite app is less than 10MB meaning “it’s fast to install and quick to start up,” according to Mulcahy.
Mulcahy added: “It includes Messenger’s core experiences such as messaging, sending and receiving photos and links, and receiving stickers. Messenger Lite uses the same bolt logo as Messenger, but with colours reversed. The bolt is blue with a white chat bubble background.”
The app is initially being rolled out to in Kenya, Tunisia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Venezuela, with more countries planned for the coming months.
Along with Facebook-owned Whatsapp, Messenger is one of the most widely used chat platforms in the world, boasting over a billion users.