Facebook has launched a ‘lite’ version of the messenger app that will be compatible with android phone only. The lite version will target emerging and underdeveloped markets, where people still use older phones with low storage and the phones which are not able to run efficiently in low network conditions.

Facebook ‘lite’ is already available around the world which does not require high storage and works on low network. The new messenger app has been launched in Sri Lanka, Kenya, Tunisia, Malaysia and Venezuela. The app will let people share links, photos, texts, however, voice calls are not supported in this version.

The company has not commented on its availability in other countries and on iPhones, but since android phones are more popular in these emerging markets so, the non-availability on iPhones will not affect its popularity.

Users can access their messages through the Facebook app but now the company is planning to end this option. Facebook wants people to access their messages through the messenger app and the strategy is working as over 1 billion people use this app every month.

David Marcus of Facebook Inc said that Messenger’s goal is to be a “product for everyone, not only people who can afford a higher-end device and more expensive data plan.” He also said that there is no other mobile messaging app in the world that also has a mobile version.

Whatsapp is also owned by Facebook Inc and Marcus said that both these apps are used for different reasons by the users and are not direct competitors of each other.

A week before, Google launched Youtube Go, Chrome, Google Play and Google news with light versions in India which are compatible with working in low bandwidth conditions. Facebook Messenger with ‘lite’ mode can be considered as an answer to Google Inc. or a strategy to survive in emerging markets.

The one thing to notice here is, that, both the technological giants has started a trend of investing and focusing on emerging markets which will eventually help in growth and development of these countries.

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04 October 2016
Rohan Jaitly

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