Android is the most popular mobile operating system in the world, but that means it powers more underpowered devices than any other. Especially in the developing world, there are huge numbers of people who prefer — and need — less-capable, lightweight, and not-data-hungry versions of the apps that many of us take for granted.

That’s why Facebook today launched Messenger Lite, a basic version of Facebook Messenger made for those with Android devices more than a few years old (or with less capable specs)…

Per David Marcus, the Facebook Messenger lead, (appropriately) on Facebook:

We are committed to making Messenger the best, and most reliable way to communicate in the world for *everyone*. That’s why I’m thrilled to announce the launch of Messenger Lite. A lightweight, and basic version of Messenger for people, who still own older Android devices (think 2009-2011) that have less available “disk” space, memory, and lower performing CPUs, and that often run on lower bandwidth connections.

Just last year, Facebook did much the same for its main Android app. The company launched a “Lite” version with a download size of less than 1MB for those who use slower cellular networks throughout the world.

For now, Messenger Lite is only in its initial launch phase, so you can only download it in five countries: Kenya, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, and Venezuela. Facebook says, however, that the app will of course expand to more countries later.

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Stephen Hall

Stephen is Growth Director at 9to5. If you want to get in touch, follow me on Twitter. Or, email at stephen (at) 9to5mac (dot) com, or an encrypted email at hallstephenj (at) protonmail (dot) com.