Facebook targets emerging markets with the launch of Instagram Lite, an Android app that takes up just 2MB, in 170 countries – TechCrunch

Facebook is developing from developing countries, and so social networks have today taken another important step to better cater to consumers in those countries. After nearly three years in planning, Facebook is pledging to launch today more officially Instagram lite, A less data- and storage-intensive Android-only version of its popular photo and video app, which will take just 2 MB on a phone and is going live in 170 countries today with a focus on emerging markets.

Instagram is lite The launch The ability to edit, share and view photos and videos, as well as add, create and view stickers, with all the basic bells and whistles around IGTV and Exploration search and recommendation algorithms. And seeing the launch in 170 countries, it is coming up with specific language support to be useful in those markets.

But to reduce the 30MB experience that full-fat Instagram takes on iOS and Android devices (and countless MB mobile data usage), it is also launching without a few things.

Namely, the developers have abandoned many graphics; They have not included advertising; And it is missing some key features such as dark mode, shopping, and end-to-end encryption. (Specifically, encryption was Allegedly Work is being done for the main app in 2019, but it is yet to be launched). Nor are the feature phone versions of iOS or apps in the works.

Facebook said that some of that list – such as Dark Mode, and (of course) advertisements – will be added in future updates.

Instagram Lite has been teased by Facebook in different forms Since 2018, And has proved to be a receptive market for the social media giant. Tzach Hadar, Tel Aviv’s director of product management for all Facebook Lite apps – including versions of Facebook and Messenger, also manufactured in Tel Aviv – said this week that Facebook Lite now has more than 200 million monthly active users .

But although Instagram is wildly popular and may have been an obvious candidate for light treatment years ago, and Instagram Lite was one of the most requested items from users in developing markets, it has proved to be a difficult beast.

This is not just because the app focuses on images and videos, which by their nature use more bandwidth and data; But because the past few years Instagram has been full of features: those aimed at enhancing the user experience; Aimed to better compete with other applications (hello, stories); And for Facebook to expand demonetization opportunities.

Nick Brown, a New York product manager, said, “Instagram presented the same unique challenge for us, disrupting the same experience.” , The year we have given – in the homes of many Facebook employees). “The philosophy is really that we want to bring all Instagram to these users.”

Image Credit: Facebook

Indeed, as with other lite versions of apps such as Facebook and Messenger, Instagram Lite is geared toward consumers in emerging economies, where smartphones are likely to be Android-based and have lower-range devices; Consumers are likely to be more price and bandwidth sensitive when it comes to using mobile data; And a substantial proportion are still coming to grips with being online only.

Facebook note an estimate This shows that 65% of emerging market populations in North America are online vs. 90%, which is one reason why the company is so focused on serving those users: they represent growth at a time when growth is slow Leads, or becomes more competitive against them in its more mature markets such as the new entrants, the US and Europe.

However, building to the demands of developing markets can often, by their nature, sometimes run counter to the concept of building in more facilities as you might see with an otherwise highly competitive consumer application.

The Instagram Lite app had some fit and start with the first version, built on React Native, which launched Limited release in 2018, Taking up only 573kb of space on one device. It also came without a lot of features, but Instagram itself had fewer features, too. Although it was never explained why, that version was Quietly pulled last year, And then some time later there was a new version Resumed in a limited trial in December. First in India, Instagram Lite, a major market for the company, launched with the support of Bangla, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Punjabi, Tamil and Telugu.

And this is the last exam that has turned into the official Instagram Lite app. Interestingly, in the process, the entire app was remade, instead of moving it away from Facebook’s own Reactive Native framework and building it on an internal framework called Blocks. Blocks), Lifting a lot of basic work from the lite versions of Messenger and Facebook.

Hacker said, “Blocks is a framework that is very high performing and has more features and capabilities and is a new Instagram Lite application.” “So it’s like a completely new app.” It is unclear what exactly happened behind the scenes that pulled the previous app, but it seems that in any case the foundation now gives the company more room to expand the service (even the app Bouncing the size down from 600kb to 2 Mb).

This fact may be less important for users, but indicates some notable trends in the company and how it is approaching technology in the future, and looks at the feature parity between the full and lite versions of its flagship apps.