Facebook has been offering a ‘Lite’ version of its Messenger app for Android for quite some time. Today, it is launching a lite version of its messaging app for iOS as well. For now, this app is only available for iPhone and iPad owners in Turkey.
This move comes just a few days after Facebook first launched a lite version of its app for iOS, again exclusively in Turkey. Facebook has been offering a Lite version of its key apps for low-end Android devices for more than a year now.
Messenger Lite for iOS is exactly what its name suggests. Its a lighter version of the Messenger app for iOS, with a download size of only 10MB. This is far smaller than the regular version of the app which weighs in at 140MB.
The lighter nature of the app means it is faster to install, open, use, and navigate. On the flip side, it lacks quite a few features found on the regular version of the app. This means no built-in video calling or ability to see which of your contacts are online. All other advanced Messenger features are also missing.
Facebook confirmed the launch of the Messenger Lite app for iOS to TechCrunch:
“When we first rolled out FB Lite and Messenger Lite as standalone apps, our goal was to deliver the power of a native app, with as many of the same features as possible while still being lightweight,” a spokesperson said. “Up until now, FB Lite and Messenger Lite have only been available on Android. Now we’re testing these experience on iOS. We’re committed to connecting people with the things they care about – no matter their connection, device, or where they live.”
Facebook’s comments make it clear that it is testing the app for now and an expanded availability in other parts of the world cannot be ruled out. While Facebook and iPhone users in the United States, the United Kingdom, and other developed countries might not use the Lite version of FB Messenger, the app will come in handy for people living in other parts of the world with slow and spotty network connectivity.