When you’re preparing to launch a new version of an already existing app, usually you just release a major update when you’re ready. But there are some cases when they will just totally delete the app and replace it with a new one when the time comes. Apparently, this is what Facebook is planning as they have quietly removed the Instagram Lite app, with users being redirected to just use the main Instagram app. We don’t have any details yet as to when the new app will launch but for now, Instagram Lite, at least the original, is officially gone.
Instagram Lite was released two years ago as a lightweight version of the main app for emerging markets where connectivity is either expensive or intermittent and where smartphones had limited space. It was available in countries like Kenya, Mexico, Peru, and the Philippines. Aside from the fact that it was just 1/55th the size of the main Instagram app, you could only browse and upload photos. You couldn’t post videos or use the Direct Message function.
But according to Tech Crunch, as of April 13, Instagram Lite disappeared from the Google Play charts. Users suddenly found themselves being redirected to the main Instagram app as “Instagram Lite is No Longer Supported”. There was no warning or explanation from Facebook regarding this. The app had millions of downloads in markets where it was available and was ranked high in Google Play charts as well.
Facebook has always called the app a “test” and will reportedly be using all the knowledge and feedback that they gathered the past two years to develop a new version of it. We don’t know if it will still be called Instagram Lite or if there will be a 2.0 after or if it will be called something else. It’s not unusual now for apps to have Lite versions or in Google’s case, Go versions since they want to tap the data and space-challenged market as well.
If you don’t want to use the Instagram app which can sometimes be too heavy for your device, you can use the browser version. You’ll have the same lite version of it anyway so you can make that a home screen shortcut if you often go there.