Social media apps have plenty to offer these days. Users don’t have to navigate away from them to get their daily dose of news, games and fun videos. However, with every new feature, the apps become heavier and more resource intensive. This affects the phone’s performance, wastes more data and drains the battery faster.

This is what led social networks such as Facebook and Twitter to come up with a lighter version of their social media apps, which not only have a smaller footprint but also run better on basic devices.

While the Lite version for Facebook app has been available to Indian users for a while, the Messenger Lite app is finally being rolled out to Android users in India. It is a free app and can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. If you have the Facebook app on your smartphone, you can login to the Messenger Lite directly and won’t have to punch in the password or username separately.

The home page on the Messenger Lite looks slightly different from the original app. The slide with active users and their photos is above recent messages, while in the original app it shows after the messages. Also, the shortcut bar at the bottom of the page in the original Messenger app has been given a miss. This bar carried shortcut buttons for calling, messaging, gaming and video recording with the option to apply fun filters and add text. To make a call, you have to go to the contacts page now.

In terms of features, the more resource-intensive ones such as video streaming, games and video calling have been left out completely. Users will have to go to the original app to access them.

The menu page looks trimmed down too.In order to enable chat heads for every new message, it uses Messenger as the default messaging app and carry out encrypted chats have been left out too.

Though you miss out on some of the key features, you can’t ignore the fact that the new app loads a lot faster than the original on slower networks. Also, it is 10 times smaller in size. It takes up just 22MB of space on your smartphone after installation, while the latter needs 210MB of space. Also, during the memory tests, we found, the original using up 300MB of RAM, while the Lite app occupied only 90MB of RAM. This will have a positive effect on phones with limited memory and smaller battery.

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