Facebook's Messenger Lite: Free Calls & Messages app surpassed 50 million downloads on Android devices, as revealed by its Google Play Store listing. The latest turn of events marks a significant milestone for the app that the Menlo Park, California-based company isn't offering worldwide, having designed it exclusively for emerging markets. Messenger Lite's new download milestone was broken approximately six weeks after the app was released in India, the second largest smartphone market in the world. While Facebook has yet to comment on the record in any capacity, the Indian launch of the service likely helped Messenger Lite surpass 50 million downloads much sooner than it otherwise would; despite the increasingly competitive market, there's still a demand for reliable mobile messaging services in India, and Facebook is seemingly keen on fulfilling it.
Messenger Lite itself was designed as an instant messaging (IM) solution for areas in which cell coverage is either spotty or no high-speed mobile data is available, in addition to being intended for devices that don't boast robust hardware resources; the app is around 5MB in size and works on virtually all Internet-enabled smartphones and tablets running Android 2.3 Gingerbread and later version's of Google's popular operating system, which makes it compatible with the vast majority of the currently active Android devices in eligible countries. The current success of the service is following in the footsteps of the Facebook Lite app which presently boasts over half a billion downloads around the globe.
Despite the growing popularity of Messenger Lite, Facebook's previous comments on the matter indicated that the company still isn't interested in offering it as an alternative to its main Messenger app in developed countries and that stance is unlikely to change in the future. The app is reminiscent of some of the earliest versions of Messenger which were solely focused on individual and group chats as it doesn't boast Messenger Day and other social media features present in its more versatile counterpart. Additionally, Messenger Lite comes with support for voice calls and its chat-related capabilities are comparable to that of the original Messenger app. Refer to the Google Play Store banner below to check whether Messenger Lite is officially available in your country.