Not everyone has the latest flagship smartphone, and even those of us who do sometimes run out of space or would prefer to use less resource-hogging apps when possible. That's where Lite variants of heavy and bloated applications come in, like Instagram Lite. Facebook has been testing the 2MB big app in select markets for a long time, and now, it has finally officially launched it in 170 countries around the world.
If Instagram Lite seems familiar to you, it's because the app has been floating around for quite a while now. Facebook first launched Instagram Lite in Mexico back in 2018, only to discontinue the app in May 2020 with the aim to rewrite it from scratch. A new, visually identical version then popped up for select markets in September 2020, and it looks like Instagram is now happy enough with the experience to launch it more widely.
In its announcement, Instagram shared that it worked with an international team from New York and Tel Aviv to create the revamped app. Since the team couldn't go out to locals for testing and fine-tuning due to the pandemic, the company instead distributed older, weaker phones to its team and simulated spotty and weak connections to find out how to improve the experience. In the process, the app also gained a dark mode while purposely never receiving more complicated, data-intense features like AR filters, in-app animations, and transitions. Lite users still get to enjoy GIFs and stickers, though.
Facebook hasn't specified which 170 countries are receiving the redesigned app, but we assume that the company focused on those with slower internet speeds and more rural areas. We can confirm Instagram Lite still isn't available in the countries like the US, the UK, and Germany as of now. In any case, Instagram wants to roll out the experience "globally soon," and you can always just download it straight from APK Mirror to circumvent regional restrictions.