Facebook's watered-down Messenger Lite is now available in 132 countries; but not in India

Facebook's Messenger Lite for Android, which was launched on 2 October last year in 5 countries, is now rolling out to 132 more. Yes, after rolling out an offline mode on Instagram, hitting big figures with its Facebook Lite app, the social network is now bringing the lite version of its standalone messaging app to an additional 132 countries.

The announcement was made by Facebook's head of Messenger, David Marcus, who announced the roll out today. He emphasized the importance of every single user, no matter how old their smartphones were, "Making sure that everyone can have a great experience with Messenger irrespective of the age of their smartphone is very important to us."

Oddly, as TechCrunch pointed out, Messenger Lite, will still not arrive to a number of countries including Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China, Cuba, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Sudan, UK, US and North Korea. Not arriving in India, Bangladesh and Mexico is indeed a bit strange, especially as Facebook would benefit most from the launch in these countries.

Messenger Lite brings the core features of Messenger without the data-intensive bits like camera effects and the app platform. What users in the 132 countries would be happy to see is a messaging app packaged in a tiny size that will work on slow and unstable 2G networks. Messenger Lite even works offline and will deliver messages once the user enters a region or space with data connectivity.

The almost worldwide availability of Messenger Lite is another blow to competitor Snapchat, which does not seem to be interested in launching a Lite version of its app in developing countries. The Facebook competitor did introduce a Travel Mode back in 2015, that allows for lowered data usage by preventing snaps from automatically downloading. In reality, there is little that Snap Inc. can do to make its app lighter, since the app works mainly on data-heavy video content.

Published Date: Apr 28, 2017 01:03 pm | Updated Date: Apr 28, 2017 01:03 pm