Messenger Lite launches on iOS, but only in Turkey

A few days ago, Facebook quietly introduced a “Lite” version of its Facebook app for iOS devices, but only in a single market, Turkey. The app had been previously available only on Android. Today, the company is following suit with a launch of Messenger Lite on iOS, again just in Turkey.

The launch was first spotted by app intelligence firm Sensor Tower.

Like the Facebook Lite iOS launch, Messenger Lite for iOS also touts a much smaller download size than the normal version, which today clocks in at a whopping 140MB.

Instead, Messenger Lite on iOS is only 10MB in size, the App Store description notes. That’s actually a bit bigger than Facebook Lite for iOS, which came in at under 5MB, we should note.

The new app also claims to use less mobile data than Messenger proper, and installs quickly and runs efficiently.

Like Messenger, the chat app can be used with individuals or groups to send text messages, photos, videos, or links. However, according to comments from early users, the Lite version doesn’t show when contacts are online through a “status” dot on their profile or in a menu.

This is a similar feature set to Facebook Lite on Android, which also supports voice and video calls.

While the app instead has only been released to Turkey for the time being, it’s available in several other languages, which could be a hint of markets to come.

As the app is just getting off the ground, it’s only ranked at No. 99 for Social Networking on iPhone, and No. 26 on iPad as of the time of writing.

Facebook confirmed the launch to TechCrunch in an email.

“When we first rolled out FB Lite and Messenger Lite as standalone apps, our goal was to deliver the power of a native app, with as many of the same features as possible while still being lightweight,” a spokesperson said. “Up until now, FB Lite and Messenger Lite have only been available on Android. Now we’re testing these experience on iOS. We’re committed to connecting people with the things they care about – no matter their connection, device, or where they live.”