In May of this year, Instagram discontinued its lightweight app, Instagram Lite. There have been rumours that the social media juggernaut may release a new version of Instagram Lite after discontinuing the original Lite app. To everyone’s astonishment, Instagram recently re-released the app in India after going silent for several months. So, if you find yourself debating whether to use Instagram or Instagram Lite once more, we’re here to help. Continue reading to compare Instagram Lite to Instagram and learn about all the differences between the two apps.
Instagram Lite vs Instagram
We’ll be looking more closely at what has changed, what to anticipate from the app, and how it contrasts with the main Instagram app in this piece. By the end of the article, you’ll know whether or not you should utilise Instagram Lite. To quickly access particular areas you might be interested in, use the table of contents section below.
|Indian Languages||Hindi||9 Indian languages|
|IGTV||Yes||Limited Viewing Support|
|Available on Android||Yes||Yes|
|Available on iOS||Yes||No|
Why Instagram Lite?
Before continuing, it’s critical to comprehend why Instagram Lite is necessary. Instagram Lite originally began as a project to aid users in developing nations access the platform and make use of its capabilities. The app has been tested by the corporation in a few markets, and with the most recent update, it has now arrived in India. For people who wish to use Instagram on their low-end phones while conserving data, Instagram Lite is the ideal app.
Availability & App Size
As was previously mentioned, Instagram began testing Instagram Lite in India. But now that it has nearly reached every nation, you can download it from the Play Store.
The updated version of Instagram manages to maintain a small app size, despite not being quite as light as the original Instagram Lite app, which had a file size of just 573 KB. The app’s size after installation on my OnePlus 7T was 4MB, excluding app data and cache. In order to put that into perspective, consider that the main Instagram app is 82MB.
The support for regional languages in the new Instagram Lite app is one of its main selling points in India. Instagram is competing with other internet behemoths like Google and Reliance Jio, who have been investing in the nation’s digital inclusion, by pursuing regional languages. You can experience the app in a total of 9 Indian languages with the new Instagram Lite app, including Bengali, Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi, and Telugu. It’s important to note that of the recently added Indian languages, only Hindi is offered in the main Instagram app. The following languages are also supported by Instagram Lite:
- French (Canada and France)
- Traditional Chinese (Taiwan and Hong Kong)
- Simplified Chinese
Here is what I discovered based on my usage if you’re worried about data consumption caps. The more recent version of Instagram Lite has media autoplay, unlike the older version. In other words, as you scroll through the feed, videos will begin playing automatically. It goes without saying that if you continue to watch videos on the app, more data will be used. The majority of the time, the app’s data usage is comparable to what you get from Instagram’s data saver option.
For browsing stories from the home page, Instagram Lite keeps the same user interface. Prior to the most recent update, the app only allowed users to post photographs for their stories. You can capture and upload movies by long-pressing the camera button in the Story interface. Tap the file picker to select already-existing photos and videos from your gallery.
The addition of Direct Messaging to the new Instagram Lite is a great adjustment. Similar to the main Instagram, the DM portion of the app has an access option in the top-right corner. However, there are no swiping controls, so you must manually tap on it. And yes, the interface between Messenger and Instagram Direct does not include fancy features like disappear mode or changeable chat themes.
You can send and receive texts, photos, GIFs, stickers, and movies in both individual and group chats using the chat interface. Although stickers may appear larger on your end, the receiver should see them at their normal size. A comparison is provided below for your use. (The text “Message unavailable” referred to a message received from the main Instagram app using disappear mode.)
Post Images, Videos
Users’ main complaint about the previous version of Instagram Lite was that videos weren’t supported. Okay, not any longer. Instagram Lite allows for the posting of pictures and videos. The best part is that you canaccess the + button from the bottom navigation barwithout messing with your muscle memory. However, do keep in mind thatyou can t choose multiple images or videos. The ability to upload Reels or IGTV content isn t present either.
In a recent update,Instagram Lite has gained the Reels tab. To accommodate Reels on the home page, the company has moved the Activity tab to the top-right corner, next to the DM section. However, it is worth mentioning that you can t upload Reels through the Lite app. If you re looking for a way to upload short videos to the platform, you should be using the regular Instagram app.
Let s address the elephant in the room.
Shopping Tabs, and IGTV
Instagram Lite doesn t support dark mode. If you re someone like me who prefers toenable dark mode everywhere, I feel you. It is disappointing to see the lack of dark mode. Although you can force-enable dark mode from your phone s Developer options, I won t recommend doing it since it may break the color scheme of other apps.
Sharing Songs/TV shows to Instagram Stories
Although Instagram Lite doesn t have a dedicated IGTV tab, you can still watch IGTV videos. That s because Instagram Lite treats IGTV content as a regular video. What this means for users is that you can t continue watching IGTV videos after watching one. One aspect I didn t like with this implementation is that you miss finetuned controls for seeking through IGTV videos. Much like regular videos, you can t skip to the middle and will have to patiently watch the entire IGTV video (or move on to the next post). You also don t get a Shopping section on Instagram Lite.
A part of the joy in discovering new content comes from sharing them with your friends and family. Whether it is a new show on Netflix or a song that you just found on Spotify or Apple Music, there is an option to post them to Instagram Stories in the main app. Unfortunately, Instagram Lite misses out on that. On a similar note, Instagram Lite doesn t let you add songs from Instagram s music library to your Stories. If you are using the regular Instagram app, you can learn more aboutsharing songs to Instagram Storiesandsharing song lyrics to Instagram Storiesfrom our linked guides.
If you are an aspiring creator or just prefer going live on Instagram often, it is worth noting that you won t find that feature here. Instead, you should be looking at the primary app that nowlets you go live for up to 4 hours.
If you re annoyed with the number of ads in the Instagram app, you ll be glad to know thatInstagram Lite doesn t contain ads. In case you haven t noticed yet,Instagram shows an ad after viewing three (sometimes four) stories from different people. The same happens when you re scrolling through your Instagram feed. For the sake of clarity, here s what happens when you re scrolling through your Instagram feed in the main app (look out for the Ad banner in the right portion or the Sponsored tag below the username):
And here s what you get with Instagram Lite:
As you can see, Instagram Lite doesn t pester you with advertisements when all you want to do is peacefully catch up with your feed. Since Instagram doesn t offer a way to purchase a subscription for an ad-free experience (somethingTwitter is planning to do in the future), Instagram Lite is the way to go if you don t want to see ads.
Should you use Instagram Lite?
That being said, this might only be for now. As the app grows and gets a big user base, I am sure that Instagram will start monetizing it by displaying ads.
Will I be using Instagram Lite?
Instagram Lite is no longer an app just for low-end phones. It is capable enough to be a viable alternative to the Instagram app. If you re okay with the lack of IGTV section, dark mode, and want an ad-free experience, you should certainly check out this app. On the other hand, if you re a creator or a power user, you might be better off with the primary app.
Instagram Lite helps me strike the balance between staying updated with friends & other creators and making sure that I m not wasting a lot of time on the platform. And the app is really stable anddoesn t crash like the regular Instagram app. That said, I m not a huge fan of the lack of dark mode and the inability to share songs to Instagram Stories.
Pros and Cons
To be fair, my younger self wouldn t have been okay with the absence of dark mode. Another problem I found with the app is that the feed refresh may be unreliable at times where it just refreshes the page but doesn t show new content. Given that I no longer spend hours scrolling through Instagram and can spend that precious time on other tasks, using Instagram Lite is a compromise I m willing to make.
- No ads
- Lightweight and distraction-free
- DM support
- Can watch Reels, IGTV content
- No fancy features like vanish mode and chat themes
- No dark mode
- Can t post Reels and IGTV content
- Can t share multiple images or videos
- Feed refresh is unreliable at times
- Can t share songs to Instagram Stories
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What s the difference between old and new Instagram Lite?
2. What s the difference between Instagram and Instagram Lite?
Instagram discontinued the old Instagram Lite in May of 2020. The new Instagram Lite offers additional features including direct messages, support for Indian languages, and more.
3. Is there a dark mode for Instagram lite?
Instagram Lite is the lightweight version of the Instagram app. It offers the essential features of the app and is best suited for entry-level phones. You can install Instagram Lite to use most features offered on Instagram.
4. Where is Instagram Lite available?
No. Unfortunately, Instagram Lite doesn t support dark mode at this moment.
5. What s the size of Instagram Lite?
Instagram Lite is currently available in India. If you re seeing the This item is not available in your country error, you can follow our guide to unlock the app righthere. The easiest solution is tosideload the APKfrom trusted sources like APKMirror.
6. Can I use Instagram Lite on my iPhone?
According to the Play Store listing, the size of Instagram Lite is 2MB. When I installed the app on my phone, it used almost 4MB.
7. Can I watch stories in Lite version?
No. Instagram Lite is not available for iPhones right now. Stay tuned as we will be covering if Instagram ever plans to launch a Lite version for iPhones. You can consider installing the PWA of Instagram from the browser for a similar experience.
8. Can I use IGTV in lite version?
Yes, you can watch stories on Instagram Lite. The app also lets you upload stories to Instagram.
9. Can I use Instagram and Instagram Lite on the same device?
You can watch IGTV videos on the app, but you can t upload them. Moreover, you can t seek the video when you re watching IGTV content in the Lite version.
10. Can I watch Reels in Instagram Lite?
Yes, you can use both versions on the same device. This is possible because both apps use different package names.
Instagram Lite: Cutting the Right Corners
Yes, Instagram has recently added a Reels tab so that users can watch short videos. However, you can t upload videos to Reels using Instagram Lite.