When an app becomes too feature rich that absorbs a lot of data, we get the Lite version of those apps. Whether it’s Facebook, Messenger, Twitter or TikTok. Even Instagram had a Lite version, but it was discontinued in May 2020. To the surprise of many, Instagram Lite has resurfaced after undergoing treatment on the development front. Now Facebook has relaunched the Instagram Lite app in India for further global deployment. While the latest version of Instagram makes design changes so often, it’s natural to wonder if you should just use the Lite version. However, what is the difference between the Instagram app and Instagram Lite app versions? We will find out in this article.
Lite or Go apps (as Google likes to call them) are toned down versions of real apps designed for phones with low storage and memory. They are designed to work best on mobile networks and low-speed Internet.
So, should you uninstall the main Instagram app and switch to the Lite app? Let’s get to know.
Application size difference
One of the main differentiators between the main Instagram and its Lite version is its size. The standard app weighs around 30MB. Can you guess the size of the Lite app? It’s just 2MB.
So if your Android phone has extremely low storage capacity and you don’t want to stop using Instagram, you should uninstall the Instagram app and use Instagram Lite instead.
For now, Instagram Lite works on Android phones. Even though it is designed for low memory phones, there is no restriction if you also use it on premium or high end Android phone.
Also, Facebook is testing the waters with the Lite app in the Indian market before rolling it out globally, just like Facebook Lite. If you don’t want to wait, you can download it via an APK obtained from reliable sources.
You might think the Lite app would be drastically different from the main Instagram app. However, this is not the case. The Instagram Lite app is the same as the main app. That said, the fonts might look a little different. All icons and features are available in their respective locations. Stories and Inbox at the top, followed by tabs (Search, Notification, and Profile) at the bottom.
Point: For some Instagram users, the Notification and Search tabs have been moved to the upper right corner. If it bothers you in the main app, you can use Instagram Lite.
As expected, you won’t find all of Instagram’s features in the Lite app. If you were a fan of the old Instagram that focused only on posts and stories, the Lite app could be your savior. You won’t find dedicated tabs for newly introduced features like IGTV, Reels, and Shopping. So you can expect a cleaner experience and interact with people you follow or want to follow.
Point: Find out what is the difference between Instagram and IGTV stories.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t play existing IGTV or Reels. If someone has posted an IGTV video or reel as a post, you can still play it in the Lite app. Notice the tiny video icon on the messages? The Lite app displays the same icon for all videos – Regular Videos, IGTV or Reels.
The Lite app also doesn’t have the much-loved Dark Mode. On top of that, you won’t be able to call people by video using the Lite app. However, other messaging features like unsent message, sending GIFs or stickers, and disappearing messages work normally. Again, if you think about old Instagram posts, you get it all. But Instagram posts recently got a big update on the main app. These features (disappearance mode, chat themes, etc.) are not yet available on the Lite application.
Point: You can also add multiple accounts in the Instagram Lite app.
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Difference in experience
Your experience will differ entirely depending on your expectations and usage. Mainly because the Lite version removes some functionality as noted in the previous section. Everything you need in Instagram Lite works perfectly fine. One can upload photos, videos and stories without any problem. If you scroll through your feed or watch stories, the experience would be similar to the main app and slightly better. The reason is that the interface seems less cluttered and more prominent.
However, you will notice the difference between the apps when the Lite app needs to load something. For example, if you tap on a profile, it will open slightly slower in the Lite app than in the main app. I’m not saying the load time is extremely slow or unusable, but coming from the main Instagram app, you notice the difference. And this is made more apparent by the progress bar that appears at the top whenever the Lite app needs to load something.
Likewise, videos can take a little while to load. Again, it’s not terribly slow, but it doesn’t go unnoticed, considering how the main app has spoiled us.
Is there another alternative
If your Android phone has low storage capacity, you can upgrade to Instagram Lite app. However, as you have seen, it lacks some features. If you want to use these features without installing the main app, you need to add Instagram website as a shortcut. To do this, open Instagram.com from your phone’s browser. A pop-up will appear asking you to add the shortcut to the home screen. Tap Install. You can now use another variation of Instagram’s Lite app without the Lite or main app.
Want to take your Instagram experience to a new level? Check out the tips and tricks mentioned in our next article.
Last updated on Dec 20, 2020
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