Instagram is relaunching its smaller Lite app with new features and a slightly larger file. The company had initially launched the app in 2018 but decided to remove it from the Play Store last year.
The Facebook-owned company announced that the app will start rolling out on Android to 170 countries, including the US, through the Play Store. According to Instagram, the new app requires only two megabytes, compared to the regular Instagram app’s 30MB. In comparison to the original Lite app which only required 573 kilobytes, this is larger however, it’s still relatively small.
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The bigger size allows for new features, like the ability to send direct messages and record and post videos. It also features the Reels tab on the homepage but will not have the shopping tab.
Instagram Lite product manager Nick Brown says the team has “no plans” to bring shopping to Instagram Lite in a briefing. He however said that the reason it decided to keep Reels is that it had “a lot of engagement” in India. TikTok is banned in India, so this gives Reels no serious competition.
The lite app doesn’t have ads at the moment. That will not be for long though as Brown says that the team is “committed to offering the full suite of monetization tools”.
He says they will “take the space and time — that everything we launched in Lite we can fully support and that it is just as good of an experience as it is in the regular Instagram”.
Instagram is not planning an iOS version of the lite app for now.
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