Though Snapchat's user figure might be a fraction of Facebook's but Mark Zuckerberg never underestimates his rivals. Apparently, Facebook is doing every bit to tap on developing world markets that Snapchat is yet to reach. Hence, Facebook has announced a global expansion of its light version of Messenger; an Android-only app launched last year.
The Facebook Messenger Lite app is now available in 132 countries, catering to users in countries that do not enjoy particularly great Internet connectivity. In a post, Facebook’s head of Messenger David Marcus wrote, "Making sure that everyone can have a great experience with Messenger irrespective of the age of their smartphone is very important to us. This is why today we're making Messenger Lite available in 132 additional countries including Germany, Colombia, Italy, Vietnam, Algeria, Morocco, Nigeria, Peru, Turkey, Japan, Taiwan and the Netherlands."
Messenger Lite offers Messenger’s core features like messaging, photo and link sharing and stickers, but lacks the more data-intensive new features like Messenger Day, camera effects and the outside developer app platform. The app downloads pretty quickly and doesn’t take up much space on memory-constrained old phones. It’s designed to minimize data use to save people money and still work on slow or unstable connections like 2G networks. It works offline and delivers messages when you regain connection, and is compatible with almost any Android phone
Snapchat, on the other hand boasts that the 60 percent of its user base is in the world’s top 10 advertising markets. But, the photo sharing app is not expected to work well in developing markets as it is inherently high-bandwidth due to all the video content. That doesn't bode well for Snapchat, which is giving its rival, Facebook an added advantage for sure.
Considering the fact that Facebook Lite just surpassed 200 million users back in February, which is 40 million more than Snapchat’s most recent monthly milestone, these lightweight apps could become a bigger threat to Snapchat down the line.