Social network Facebook has announced the launch of Messenger Lite – a new standalone version of its private messaging service for Android smartphones.
Messenger Lite is essentially a slimmed down version of Messenger that offers the same core experience of Messenger – with a particular emphasis on basic budget smartphones or those with slower than average internet speeds.
The firm said the release comes as part of wider efforts to empower people all over the world to stay connected – and Messenger Lite makes it possible to send text, photos and links quickly and easily to any of their friends using either Messenger or Messenger Lite.
Over one billion people all over the world actively use Facebook's Messenger app or browser function every single month – and it is accessed from a wide range of devices on networks of varying speeds and reliability.
More people can stay in contact via Messenger Lite as network conditions or storage limitations on their Android devices will no longer be an issue.
The app itself is under ten MB and is easy to install and set up. Core Messenger features such as messaging, sending and receiving photos and links, and receiving stickers are all included.
With a blue bolt symbol on a white chat bubble background, the app has the same icon as the larger version, but with the colours reversed.
Kenya, Tunisia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Venezuela are already seeing the app roll out and other countries will have access to it in the coming months.
“Messenger Lite was built to give people a great Messenger experience, no matter what technology they use or have access to,” said Tom Mulcahy, engineering manager for the app.