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Facebook launches Messenger Lite in 132 new countries, Americans need not apply

Facebook's Messenger Lite chat app can now be downloaded from the Play Store in 132 new countries.

Published onApril 28, 2017

With all the new features Facebook is adding into its apps (including multiple cloned Snapchat features), it has become more and more necessary to have a de-bloated, lite version of the app.

Facebook Lite debuted in 2015, while a lightweight Messenger app launched in Kenya, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, and Venezuela over a year later. Both apps are aimed at lower-spec devices that can’t handle the normal Facebook and Messenger app and users in developing countries where data connections are at a premium.

Heck, I am sure even my Pixel XL can handle the full Facebook and Messenger apps, but the good news is that I can now download Messenger Lite in Australia, along with 131 other countries.

Today’s rollout leaves out a number of huge markets including the United States. The selection of excluded countries is pretty eclectic, so it’s hard to guess why Facebook purposely left them out this time. Besides the US, Messenger Lite won’t be officially available in Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China, Cuba, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, North Korea, the Philippines, Sudan, and the UK.

That doesn’t stop you from installing the APK file manually if you live in an excluded country.

Hopefully Android O will put a stop to Facebook and Messenger’s bad habit of draining resources while the app isn’t being used. This won’t improve performance while in the app but if you are concerned with battery drain while idle (Facebook and Messenger Lite don’t drain as much battery), Android O’s new resource management APIs could fix that.

Are you concerned with the Facebook app? Do you use an alternative like Swipe Pro? Share your thoughts below.

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