| SAN FRANCISCO
SAN FRANCISCO Oct 3Facebook Inc launched
a stripped down version of its popular Messenger app for
emerging markets on Monday as it seeks to expand its
Messenger Lite, which uses less data and is designed to work
in areas with slower internet connections, will roll out in
Kenya, Tunisia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Venezuela. Facebook said
it will expand to other countries in the coming months.
Facebook has largely saturated Western markets, including
North America and Europe, and has set its sights on developing
countries, in part by rolling out "lite" versions of its main
Facebook app and now Messenger, which have fewer capabilities
than the main apps.
Users with Android phones will still be able to use the core
features of Messenger, including the ability to send text
messages, photos and links but will not be able to make video or
voice calls or make payments.
"We want to make sure Messenger products are truly for
everyone," David Marcus, head of Messenger, said in an
Facebook also offers a pared-down version of the internet in
more than three dozen countries, called Free Basics, to connect
people to the internet who do not have a reliable connection.
Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg has repeatedly said
the company's mission is to get everyone in the world connected
to the internet.
(Reporting By Yasmeen Abutaleb)