Last year, Facebook announced Messenger Lite, a slimmed-down version of the Messenger app designed for users in areas with slower internet speeds and with older phones. Now it’s come to the UK.
Messenger Lite is now on the Google Play Store in the UK, meaning Android users in this country can choose to switch to the lower-maintenance version of the app should they so wish.
But what are the benefits?
Messenger Lite cuts back on a lot of extra functionality of Messenger, without chipping away at the fundamentals – the ability to talk to friends and family.
Lite gives users the ability to send messages and make calls, as well as send colourful stickers to friends, that’s pretty much it.
Other Messenger services such as the in-built app store, Stories, bots and games have all been stripped away. The key upside to this is that Lite is therefore a much smaller app to download so takes up less space on your phone and has a shorter download time.
As mentioned the app was designed to work in areas with slower internet connectivity, and as a result Messenger Lite is able to work in a wider range of network conditions – users only need a 2G connection in order to use it.
Facebook says this also means it uses less data, and works across a wider range of networks and Android devices as a result.
But using the app does mean taking something of a backwards step in terms of modern functionality.
This seems to have appealed to some users, however. Initially rolled out last year in Kenya, Sri Lanka and in parts of South America, news of the lightweight app struck a cord with many mobile users who wanted to move away from the crowded main Messenger app, and this appears to have prompted the wider rollout.
However, there is no sign of an iPhone version of Lite, with TechCrunch claiming Facebook has no plans to release an iOS version any time soon.