Facebook launches Instagram Lite in 170 countries with lower bandwidth

Facebook said Wednesday that it was launching a “lite” version of Instagram in 170 countries that will allow people with poor internet connections to access the photo and video sharing social networking service.

Instagram Lite will be available for Android-based phones and will require less bandwidth than the traditional version. The app itself takes only 2 megabytes (MB) – versus 30 MB for Instagram – and also works on slower 2G networks, allowing customers in parts of India, Africa, Asia and Latin America with older internet infrastructures to access the service.

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“These are the markets where there is the greatest need,” said Tzach Hadar, director of product management at Facebook in Tel Aviv, where the app has been extensively developed. “It uses far less data, so if you have a small data packet you won’t run out when you use the service. But the goal is for us to offer the same breadth of experience you get on Instagram, ”he told Reuters.

Hadar, who leads Facebook’s research and development in Israel, said 170 countries did not represent a full global launch, but “it’s a step forward.” He noted that in addition to TVs and reels – for creating and sharing short video clips – Instagram Lite has retained most of Instagram’s key features.

A lite version of Facebook has been available globally for five years. In addition to the lite versions, Facebook in Tel Aviv it also developed the Express WiFi service to bring Internet access to around 20 countries in Africa, Asia and South America.

Hadar said his team is now working on a digital wallet for Facebook. “You have nearly 2 billion people who have no or limited access to banks and financial services and there are tens of billions of dollars spent on taxes alone for migrants who want to return money to their families,” he said. Another initiative, he said, was Facebook Small business stores to sell products online.

Facebook’s Tel Aviv R&D center opened in 2013 after buying Israeli mobile app maker Onavo for around $ 150- $ 200 million.

(This story has not been edited by our team of editors and is generated from a feed.)

News Highlights:

  • The app itself takes only 2 megabytes (MB) – versus 30 MB for Instagram – and also works on slower 2G networks, allowing customers in parts of India, Africa, Asia and Latin America with older internet infrastructures to access the service. “These are the markets where there is the greatest need,” said Tzach Hadar, director of product management at Facebook in Tel Aviv, where the app has been extensively developed.
  • Facebook launches Instagram Lite in 170 countries with lower bandwidth