Messaging app Line has released a lightweight version of its primary app named Line Lite. It’s initially available in 11 countries — Korea, India, Mexico, Pakistan, Algeria, Cambodia, Egypt, Vietnam, Columbia, Saudi Arabia, and Philippines — but will likely be pushed into other regions, should demand be there.
Line says the Lite app installs in a fraction of the time it takes for the full version, and specifies that under the same network conditions, Line Lite would be ready in a twentieth of the time that it would if you selected the main app. The app is a mere 912k in size, an important factor for those living in developing markets, where data can not only be slow and expensive, but also connectivity unreliable.
The stripped down version takes up less space on the device, and also promises to use less data, but still provides many of the best known Line features. For example, messaging and photo sharing are both enabled, plus the group chat feature, and the many cute stickers available can be shared with friends. Surprisingly, the option to buy other stickers from Line’s packed store isn’t part of the Lite app, and neither are voice or video calls.
Line is one of the most popular messaging apps in the world — with more than 200 million active monthly users — but most are located in Japan and Asia. By introducing a slimmed down app in specific markets, Line is attempting to appeal to the growing legions of smartphone users that may have yet formed an allegiance to one of its competitors. As networks improve, new Line fans may jump over to the full app, where Line’s packed store and game selection awaits.
It’s a similar strategy to Facebook, which launched a Lite version of its own app at the beginning of July. Optimized for 2G connections, the app also weighs in at less than 1MB, and provides the core mobile Facebook experience.
Line Lite appears to only be available for Android at the moment — hardly a surprise, given the popularity of Android devices in developing markets — and can be downloaded from Google Play here.
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