In an attempt to further its global reach, Facebook is launching Messenger Lite for Android, a "slimmed down version" of its Messenger app. The 10MB app offers the base functions of Facebook's regular Messenger app and is meant for older phones with with slow CPUs and small amounts of RAM and users without access to fast mobile internet connections.
"Messenger Lite was built to give people a great Messenger experience, no matter what technology [users] use or have access to," Facebook engineering manager Tom Mulcahy wrote in a statement. The app is launching today Kenya, Tunisia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Venezuela and will launch in more countries in the future.
This isn't Facebook's first attempt to connect people in far-reaching corners of the world. Facebook already offers a "lite" version of its social networking app and is working on providing better or faster internet access with lasers and solar-powered drones.
Some may see Facebook's attempts as looking to lock users in developing nations into its services as early as possible, and that makes a lot of business sense for the company (although there may be some net neutrality arguments against it). In the short term, though, it's also hard to argue against people getting access to a commonly-used method of chatting with friends and family, no matter where they are.