NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Facebook Inc said on Wednesday it is testing a new, less data-intensive version of its photo and video sharing app Instagram in India, a key growth market for the U.S. social media giant.
The app, Instagram Lite, is less that 2MB in size, which will help it run smoothly on low-memory smartphones and broaden its userbase, the Menlo Park, California-headquartered company said.
The company is relaunching the Lite app after closing down a previous version, which operated chiefly in emerging markets, earlier this year.
“With the test of Instagram Lite… we’re aiming to democratize expression and creativity for a greater number of people in India,” Instagram vice-president of product Vishal Shah said at Facebook’s first ‘Fuel for India’ event, where the company showcased its products and services.
“We’re also hoping to gain valuable insights before a global rollout of Instagram Lite.”
India is Facebook’s biggest market by users.
India’s flagship payments processor last month gave Facebook much-delayed approval to launch WhatsApp payments in India, but capped the rollout of the service at 20 million users.
The approval is a boost for Facebook which is looking to use payments as a way to widen its base in India, one of the world’s fastest-growing internet services markets.
WhatsApp Pay competes with Alibaba-backed Paytm, Google Pay and Walmart Inc’s PhonePe in India’s burgeoning fintech market.
(Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal; Editing by Jan Harvey)