Facebook introduces Messenger Lite for Android users with slow internet


Facebook has announced the launch of Messenger Lite, a "slimmed down" and stripped back version of its Messenger app for Android handsets.

In a blog post on its site, Facebook says Messenger Lite has been created "to empower people all over the world to stay connected."

The streamlined app offers all of the core functions of the main Messenger app, allowing users to send messages, photos, links, and stickers to anyone else using Messenger.

Messages for all

It's not clear just yet what features Messenger Lite users will be missing out on, but by stripping back Messenger to these basic functions Facebook is able to keep the app under 10MB. Keeping the app small makes it "fast to install and quick to start up" as well as less prone to excessive data consumption.

Much like the Facebook Lite app which was released last year, the idea behind this is that it's ideal for users in emerging markets where there's a prevalence of more basic Android handsets and slower internet connections.

Tom Mulcahy, Engineering Manager for Messenger Lite, said that thanks to Messenger Lite "more people can stay in contact, regardless of network conditions or storage limitations on their Android devices," adding that "Messenger Lite was built to give people a great Messenger experience, no matter what technology they use or have access to."

Earlier this year, Facebook announced that Messenger has more than 1 billion active users worldwide. Clearly, though, the social network is determined to continue its push to get developing countries online, and more specifically on to Facebook.

At the moment, Messenger Lite is only rolling out to users in Kenya, Tunisia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Venezuela, but it will expand into other countries in the coming months.

Emma Boyle

Emma Boyle is TechRadar’s ex-Gaming Editor, and is now a content developer and freelance journalist. She has written for magazines and websites including T3, Stuff and The Independent. Emma currently works as a Content Developer in Edinburgh.