Facebook launches Messenger Lite for users with slow connections

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Social networking giant Facebook today launched a lighter version of its Messenger chat app, in an attempt to reach people in emerging markets who have access to slow internet connections.

The new Messenger Lite will be a standalone version of Messenger for Android and offers all the core features, chiefly the ability to post text, photos and links.

Messenger Lite uses the same bolt logo as Messenger, but with colors reversed. The bolt is blue with a white chat bubble background. The stripped down version is currently available for people in Kenya, Tunisia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Venezuela. Facebook is expected to soon launch the app in other countries.

“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,” writes Tom Mulcahy, Engineering Manager for Messenger Lite.

According to Facebook, more than 1 billion people around the world use Messenger every month from a range of mobile devices on networks of various speeds. “With Messenger Lite, more people can stay in contact, regardless of network conditions or storage limitations on their Android devices,” notes Tom.

At less than 10MB, Messenger Lite is quick to install and to use. Facebook is clearly looking to reach the next billion consumers in emerging markets that is witnessing rapid smartphone adoption.

Last June, the social networking giant introduced Facebook Lite that included core experiences like News Feed, status updates, photos, notifications and more.

The latest offering comes just a week after Google announced a new mobile app YouTube Go, for offline viewing and lowering data costs. The app, launched in India, offers the ability to share downloaded videos with friends and relatives without any Internet access. The app was designed for users who might be in regions that have poor cellular networks.

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