22 April 2020
In mid-2018 i.e about two years ago, Facebook-owned Instagram introduced the Instagram Lite app targetted in developing countries and for low-end Android devices. It was a stripped-down version of the main app that offered core functionalities like adding photos to the feed and Stories. As it turns out, Instagram Lite has now been taken down from the Google Play Store without any statement beforehand.
The app does not appear when a search is made on the store and as for existing users, the app shows an alert suggesting them switch to the main Instagram app. Another alternative is to visit the Instagram website, log-into the account, and save the website as a quick shortcut to the home screen. It will offer a user experience similar to the lite version of the app.
When TechCrunch reached out to the company for clarification on the matter, Instagram confirmed that the app has indeed been taken down intentionally. It said that the team will use all the feedback and experiences from these two years to relaunch the app in a new form. However, it did not say anything about what kind of changes to expect and when to expect the newer version.
Instagram Lite made its debut in Mexico as part of initial testing. It was later expanded to select emerging markets including Peru, Kenya, and the Philippines. The app is said to have crossed 1 million downloads in all these markets before it vanished from the respective stores. We will keep you posted as and when Instagram will reveal further details about the relaunch.