Facebook continues down the path of making itself available to as many people as possible throughout the world including countries where Internet speeds aren’t at their best.
In its latest effort to make its Messenger app available to people in emerging markets, Facebook has stripped down the app and called it Messenger Lite, which not only consumes less data but is designed to work in areas where the Internet connectivity is not that great and bandwidth of only a few kbps is available.
Facebook Messenger Lite will be rolled out in countries like Kenya, Tunisia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Venezuela and over the course of next few months it will be released in other African countries and other parts of the world.
While Facebook has a large user base – 1.7 billion as of a few days back – it doesn’t have a massive reach in developing countries because of the amount of data its apps consume. Higher data usage means that users will have to pay more for accessing Facebook and its related apps and this is what makes these apps a costly affair.
Facebook is targeting such countries and that’s why it is first rolled out “lite” version of its main Facebook app and now it has announced Messenger Lite, which has fewer capabilities than the main apps.
Users with Android phones will still be able to use the core features of Messenger, including the ability to send text messages, photos and links but will not be able to make video or voice calls or make payments.
“We want to make sure Messenger products are truly for everyone,” David Marcus, head of Messenger, said in an interview.
Facebook also offers a pared-down version of the Internet in more than three dozen countries, called Free Basics, to connect people to the Internet who do not have a reliable connection.
Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg has repeatedly said the company’s mission is to get everyone in the world connected to the Internet.