Lonely Planet Writer

Travelling but crunched for data? The new Instagram Lite might help

If data usage is the bane of your life while travelling, but you can’t do without your fix of social media, a new Instagram app for Android may solve the problem for you. Facebook has quietly launched Instagram Lite, a version of the app that uses less data, starts faster and takes up less space and has been testing it in Mexico.

Facebook has launched Instagram Lite for travellers. Image: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto

Instagram Lite is 573kb, which is 1/55th the size of the Instagram 32mb-size main app. With Instagram’s ever-growing popularity in the western world, it will be particularly useful for those in the developing world who have older phones, high data charges, less storage space and slower network connections.

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It will also be handy for those travelling on limited data packages, who might not have to delete photos or other apps to make space for Instagram Lite, or pay more for it to download. This development follows the release of Facebook Lite in 2015, Facebook Messenger Lite in April of this year and Uber Lite in May 2018.

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While it currently lacks the options for users to share videos or direct message friends, Instagram Lite allows them to filter images and post them to their feed or InstaStory. This will be perfect for those wanting to make their friends back home jealous with their holiday snaps.

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They can also watch other people’s stories and keep up with what’s happening back at home. As to the future, Facebook hasn’t officially made an announcement about Instagram Lite yet, but has responded to queries saying that the app will expand to more countries later in the year.

The app will ultimately have messaging and video posting capabilities at a later stage, but for now, it is now available for Android in the Google Play App Store.