Facebook Messenger Lite Trims The Bloat For Basic Android Smartphones

Facebook is launching a slimmed down version of its Messenger app for users that live in markets where the average Internet speed isn't on par with the rest of the world. The trimmed down version, called Messenger Lite, will also make it easier for users rocking a basic Android smartphone that might not have the horsepower to handle larger, more fully fleshed out apps.

Messenger Lite is a standalone version of Messenger without some of the latter's fancier features. It's under 10-megabytes, installs fast, and is quick to start up. While it doesn't include all of Messenger's bells and whistles, it does deliver the core experiences such as instant messaging, sending and receiving photos and links, and receiving stickers.

Messenger Lite

"More than 1 billion people around the world use Messenger every month from a range of mobile devices on networks of various speeds and reliability. With Messenger Lite, more people can stay in contact, regardless of network conditions or storage limitations on their Android devices. Messenger Lite was built to give people a great Messenger experience, no matter what technology they use or have access to," Facebook said.

Just as Messenger is the companion app to Facebook, Messenger Lite is the companion app to Facebook Lite, a slimmer version of the social network that's also available for basic Android devices. Facebook Lite launched last year.

This is the continuation of an effort on Facebook's part to make its social network and supplementary features available to people in all corners of the globe. It's a massive undertaking that begins with getting people online, an effort Facebook is also involved with through its Internet.org initiative. It's trying various things to bring Internet connectivity to remote locations, including the creation of an aircraft capable of transmitting data at 10GB/s using laser beams.

Facebook says Messenger Lite is starting to roll out to users in Kenya, Tunisia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Venezuela. Other countries will be added to the list in the coming months.