Facebook's Messenger Lite Android app is now expanding its availability to India, months after it reached numerous other markets. Following its limited debut in late 2016, the lightweight mobile communications service developed by the Menlo Park, California-based social media giant had a significantly wider release this spring but still wasn't available in India until today. The app itself is meant to be a more streamlined and less resource-intensive alternative to the main Messenger app that has been slowly transitioning to a full-fledged social platform in recent years. Apart from being smaller in size and requiring fewer hardware resources to run in a consistent manner compared to the original solution, Messenger Lite was also designed to consume significantly less mobile data, thus being more suitable for use in areas with spotty wireless coverage and slower Internet speeds.
Tech giants like Facebook, Microsoft, and Google face several challenges in expanding their user base and global availability and one of their toughest tasks is reaching as many emerging markets as they can. Such markets have unique needs and characteristics that need to be accounted for when developing Internet-based solutions; a significant number of users in India is still experiencing slow Internet speeds and owns entry-level mobile devices that are far from being perfectly suited for running demanding apps. Messenger Lite is specifically optimized to address those connectivity issues as it doesn't require a high-speed connection to function, in addition to being suitable for devices with little internal storage, being less than 10MB in size.
Messenger Lite still offers the majority of the main functionalities found in the full-fledged app, with its users being able to send and receive text messages, links, stickers, photos, and emoji in the same way. Compared to its more feature-packed alternative, the service still doesn't support video calls or sending money to users, in addition to lacking a wide variety of minor features previously introduced to Messenger. Android users in India can download Messenger Lite free of charge by following the Google Play Store banner beneath this writing, while an update on Facebook's other software endeavors may follow later this year.