Facebook launches Messenger Lite for Android in Australia

Along with another 130 countries

Facebook’s been testing a lightweight version of its Messenger app — imaginatively called Messenger Lite —, in emerging markets since the end of 2016, and the social giant’s now expanded the apps availability, bringing it to the Google Play Store for an additional 132 countries.

Included on that list are APAC nations including Australia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Japan, along with  select European nations like Germany and Italy. The original intention of the app was to offer a lightweight alternative to the standard version of Messenger so that people with limited network access or less processing power (which is often the case in emerging markets) could still use the service.

The app is incredibly stripped back, weighing in at only 10MB, and features a simple array of three primary screens — Home (where you can view your current conversations), Contacts, and Profile (which includes all app and account settings). All of the Snapchat-wannabe functionality is gone (phew!) and the entire experience is incredibly streamlined and pared-back as a result.

After some brief use, the only thing that we truly missed was the searchable GIF option that’s included in the full-fat Messenger app — although we’d deem that a worthy sacrifice for the Lite app’s silky smooth simplicity.