Facebook's Messenger Lite Android app surpassed 100 million downloads earlier this month, as revealed by its Google Play Store listing which was recently updated to reflect the new installation milestone. The development comes less than four months after the Messenger alternative hit the 50-million mark and suggests the app is actually gaining additional traction since being released in the United States this October.
While the Menlo Park, California-based social media giant originally introduced Messenger Lite in late 2016 as a service that specifically caters to developing countries where the average mobile user doesn't have access to a high-speed Internet connection or any reliable wireless service, the company ultimately opted to bring the app to the West following months of repeated requests from consumers. Some industry watchers interpreted the move as Facebook's acknowledgment that a significant number of its users aren't happy with the direction in which Messenger has been going ever since being spun off as standalone service in the second half of 2014, though the firm never directly said it's catering to that particular demographic. Regardless, the fact remains that Messenger Lite isn't just a suitable Messenger client for people who don't have access to a contemporary cellular connection but is also a callback to the old platform that wasn't full of various social media tools and imaging capabilities until the second half of the current decade. As such, Messenger Lite also appealed to the Western audiences and ended up growing by tens of millions of users in a span of only several months.
Regardless of the increasing popularity of the lightweight version of Messenger, Facebook is unlikely to stop pursuing its main chat service strategy, especially after the company's co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg vowed to more effectively monetize both Messenger and WhatsApp, having made that promise during his call with investors following the publication of the firm's financial report for the third quarter of the year. Besides having non-demanding hardware requirements, Messenger Lite also officially supports devices running OS versions as old as Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Refer to the Google Play Store banner below to check whether the app is available for download in your country.