Facebook, Inc., has reportedly announced plans for testing a less data-intensive, new version of Instagram, its video and photo sharing app, in India, which is a prominent market for the Menlo Park-based social media major. Instagram Lite, the new app, is less than 2 MB in size. This is anticipated to promote the expansion of its userbase, helping its smooth functioning on low-memory smartphones.
Meanwhile, speaking at Facebook’s first ‘Fuel for India’ event, the Head of WhatsApp India, Abhijit Bose, stated that the messaging app, which has around 400 million subscribers in the country, will look for selling health insurance to users by the end of the year. Last month, India’s flagship payments processor had given a much-delayed approval to Facebook for rolling out WhatsApp payments in India, capping the launch of the service at 20 million users, however.
Apparently, the approval proved to be a boost for Facebook, which is looking for using payments as an alternative for the effective widening of its base in India, which is one of the fastest expanding markets for internet services. In India’s proliferating fintech market, WhatsApp Pay competes with Walmart Inc’s PhonePe, Alibaba-backed Paytm, and Google Pay.
Coming back to Instagram, Vishal Shah, Vice President of Product at Instagram, stated where the social media giant demonstrated its services and products, with the test of Instagram Lite, the company is intending to democratize the creativity and expression for a greater number of people in India. The company is also hopeful of receiving valuable insights prior to a worldwide launch of Instagram Lite, added Shah.
The organization is relaunching the Lite app following the closure of a previous version, which majorly operated in emerging markets. In terms of the number of users, India is Facebook’s biggest market.