This story was originally published and last updated .
Social media platforms have maintained slimmed-down versions of their apps in the past few years to grab more users from developing markets with low-end hardware. Facebook, however, has decided to shut down Instagram Lite and is now redirecting users to the main app. The company has not said why.
A lot of lite apps are basically nothing more than a managed WebView browser with a few extra elements and this was no exception to that rule. It was trialed first in Mexico around June of 2018 before expanding to other regions at some point. AppBrain reports that the app had garnered over a million downloads by the time it was unpublished on April 12, having last been updated this past October.
Those who have Instagram Lite installed are being encouraged to move over to the full app. If you don’t prefer this option, you can achieve pretty much the same experience by heading to instagram.com in your browser and making that a home screen shortcut.
You can review past versions of Instagram Lite on APK Mirror. We tried using version 22.214.171.124.65 and were fed the same redirect message as seen above.
Following our report of Lite’s death, TechCrunch gleaned a bit more information from Instagram. The app was confirmed to be removed, but this seems to be a temporary situation. Instagram says it learned from this “test” and is using that to build a new Lite app, however there’s no timeline for when that relaunch might happen.