Facebook brings data plan-saving Messenger Lite to US Androids

Muriel Hammond
October 4, 2017

Compared to the real Facebook Messenger, the application is definitely quite barebones in features.

It is estimated that there would be around 47 million times downloads since launch, led by India and Brazil.

"We're excited to bring Messenger Lite to Android users in 4 new markets including Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom and the US" a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch. It originally launched in five countries, Kenya, Tunisia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Venezuela, in October 2016. For now the app is only available for Android - Facebook has not yet said whether an iOS version is in the works.

Last year Facebook forced users to adopt Messenger if they want to send each other direct messages, instead of the main Facebook site or app.

WhatsApp, the messaging app owned by Facebook but operated as a separate entity, is also popular in emerging markets.

Want to use Facebook's Messenger app without the processor-intensive features and heavy data suck? The initial objective of coming up with the Android-only app was to help users gain access to Messenger in those areas experiencing sluggish mobile connectivity. Google, for instance, has developed alternate versions of its suite of apps like Maps and Search that are light on data use, which they have been testing in Indonesia. The senior officials also told that the app would utilize much less data connection as matched to other social networking sites or applications.

Messenger emoji were introduced a little over a year ago as a way of unifying emoji between platforms, but Facebook is reverting to the emoji that the actual Facebook service uses for an unknown reason. But if you are one of the users who like video calling, stories "My Day", games, and chatbots then Messenger Lite is not for you.

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