In a Facebook post, David Marcus, head of messaging products at Facebook Inc., announced the launch of Messenger Lite, a lightweight, basic version of Facebook Messenger for Android users who are still on older smartphones with less available storage and limited processors, as well as with access to only slow internet speeds.
Aimed at emerging markets, Messenger Lite is initially launching in five countries – Kenya, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, and Venezuela, and will expand to more markets after the initial launch phase.
Messenger Lite is a stripped-down version of Messenger. Facebook already offers ‘Facebook Lite’ for users who are on too old or basic smartphones for the full-fledged Facebook experience.
Since a while, Facebook has been forcing users to adopt Messenger to send messages instead of the primary Facebook app, and has garnered over 1 billion monthly users. The company is also ending the option to use messaging option via Facebook’s mobile website. WhatsApp, the messaging app acquired by Facebook, continues to be operated as a separate entity and is very popular in emerging markets.