Photo-sharing platform Instagram on Wednesday said it is testing 'Instagram Lite' app in India that occupies less space on Android phones and consumes lesser data before it rolls out the offering globally.
Over the past many months, the Facebook-owned company has tested and rolled out a number of features in India first, including its short video offering - Reels.
"India is an important market for us and has been a testing ground for innovation... India was one of the first few countries where we tested Reels, and the first country where we launched the Reels tab...In order to expand the appeal of Instagram to users across the country, today we're announcing the test of Instagram Lite in India," Vishal Shah, VP of Product, Instagram at Facebook, said at the Facebook Fuel for India 2020 event.
He added that 'Instagram Lite' is less than two megabytes in size, and has been built to provide access and high-quality experience to users in India, irrespective of the device, platform and network that they are on.
The experience on the new app 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 Bangla, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Punjabi, Tamil and Telugu.
Facebook and other Internet companies like LinkedIn and Twitter offer similar lighter apps to help users access key features of the platform with lower data usage and quicker loading time.
Shah noted that India is setting global trends as well with two out of the five songs shared most globally on Reels coming from Indian artists.
"We also see a lot of trends emerging in India. For example, we saw a huge increase in people going Live together on Instagram, especially during the pandemic. That is why India is one of the first countries where we launched Live rooms where now up to four people can go live together on Instagram," he added.
Shah said its 'Born on Instagram' programme was created because of the creativity the company is seeing across India.
Instagram has now 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.
In the new 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.
"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," he said.
For in-depth, objective and more importantly balanced journalism, Click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine