We have Android Go, and the subsequent release of lighter Google Go apps like Gmail Go and YouTube Go. We also have Facebook’s versions, Facebook Lite and Messenger Lite. These are all meant to be stripped down versions of the most popular apps, optimized to work on less powerful devices and take up less storage space. We can now add Instagram Lite to the mix, which has just been released by parent company Facebook.
The regular Instagram app takes up 32MB of space on a mobile phone, but the new Instagram Lite comes in at a mere 573KB. 32MB might not sound like a lot, but if you’ve only got 8GB in total, minus the space needed for your operating system, you’ll be grateful for every single byte of space you can squeeze out of your apps.
In terms of features, the Lite version of Instagram gives users the ability to upload and view photos and Stories. Lite users will also have access to Instagram’s Explore tab. On the flip, there is no ability to share videos on Instagram Lite, and there is no direct messaging option. These exclusions will no doubt be because the app is likely to be used on devices with limited storage capacity, slow access to the internet and restrictive data plans. The core Instagram experience is there, however, which will be great news for social sharers with low-end mobile devices.
For now, Instagram Lite has only received a limited release so that testing can continue. It is currently only available in Mexico, with a spokesman telling Tech Crunch:
“We are testing a new version of Instagram for Android that takes up less space on your device, uses less data, and starts faster.”
The rest of the world will see the app later this year, and there is a chance Instagram might add more features like messaging and video, depending on how the early tests go.