Instagram testing new ‘Lite’ version of app in India

Instagram on Wednesday said it is testing a new “Lite” version of the app for Android users in India before a global roll out.

Making the announcement at the first “Facebook Fuel For India” virtual event, the photo-sharing app also introduced the second edition of the “Born on Instagram” creator program.

“India is such an important country for us and has been a testing ground for innovation, thanks to the natural creativity and entrepreneurial spirit we see here,” said Vishal Shah, Vice President of Product, Instagram at Facebook.

“With the test of Instagram Lite, and the next edition of ‘Born on Instagram’, we’re aiming to democratise expression and creativity for a greater number of people in India. We’re also hoping to gain valuable insights before a global rollout of Instagram Lite.”

This is not the first time Instagram is testing a feature in India before a global roll out. The platform showcased a slew of new features in the past few months that have either debuted in India or India has been one of the first countries to test it.

This includes Reels, the Reels tab and Live Rooms.

The new version of Instagram Lite is less than 2MB in size and is built to deliver an Instagram experience that remains fast and reliable for more people.

It targets those who face Internet issues as a result of low memory phones and heavy-sized apps.

The app is made for Android and this new version has improved speed, performance, and responsiveness, Instagram said.

The experience is similar to the core Instagram app experience, though there are some features that are not currently supported such as Reels, Shopping and IGTV.

The app will be available in Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Punjabi, Tamil and Telugu, the company said.

It also announced the second version of “Born on Instagram”, to equip the next generation of content creators with best practices to use the platform, and enable them with collaboration and mentorship opportunities.

The programme was first announced in November 2019 to discover, grow and showcase creators from all across the country.

Now in the next edition, the programme has been attuned to incorporate the new features on Instagram, especially Reels.

It will go on for a period of six months and will continue to offer masterclasses from internal and external experts, as well as collaboration and mentorship opportunities.