Instagram Starts Testing Lightweight Instagram Lite App in Mexico

Instagram wants to extend its global domination with a new lightweight app optimized for cheaper, less powerful phones: The company released a new Instagram Lite Android app on Google Play Wednesday, which takes up just 573 Kilobytes of storage space, compared to the 30 Megabytes the regular Instagram app consumes.

An Instagram spokesperson told Variety Wednesday evening that the Facebook-owned service started testing the new app in Mexico this week, with plans to bring it to additional countries later this year. “We are testing a new version of Instagram for Android that takes up less space on your device, uses less data, and starts faster,” the spokesperson said via email.

Instagram Lite supports many of the same features as the regular Instagram app, including access to the Instagram feed, stories, filters and access to Instagram’s explore tab. Messaging functionality will be added soon, according to the app listing. Notably absent from the list of features is IGTV, Instagram’s new long-form video service.

Instagram Lite wouldn’t be the first time for Facebook to launch a Lite app to reach users in markets with less powerful phones and slower broadband connections. In June of 2015, Facebook launched a dedicated Facebook Lite app for emerging markets. Nine months later, that app had already over 100 million monthly active users.

Facebook brought Facebook Lite to the U.S. earlier this year. Last year, Facebook launched a Messenger Lite app in the U.S. as well. Facebook Lite and Messenger Lite were downloaded 25 million and 19 million times worldwide in May alone, according to data from app analytics specialist Sensor Tower.

Update: 6:35pm: This post was updated with a comment from Instagram.

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