Instagram users in more than 170 countries can now download a lite version of the Instagram app from the Google Play Store. The app, called simply Instagram Lite, delivers all essential features the photo and video sharing social network has to offer while using up only 2 MB of storage space.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, many Instagram users have lost access to high-speed internet networks, forcing them to rely on slow and often expensive mobile data instead. One of these users was Michelle Lourie, who’s also a product manager at Facebook.
Working in Israel, she and her team in Tel Aviv collaborated with a New York-based team to develop a lighter alternative to the Instagram app, one that would work great even on low-end Android devices without any major compromises.
“No matter where they are, people want to be entertained and inspired by those that they love. It’s difficult to do that on Instagram with an entry-level phone that has storage constraints,” said Lourie in a statement. “We wanted the Instagram experience to remain fast, high-quality, and reliable, irrespective of the device, platform, and network people are on,” added Tzach Hadar, Director of Product Management at Facebook Tel Aviv.
After a year of development, Instagram Lite was born. The new app requires users to download only 2 MB of data (the full-size version is approximately 30 MB large), but it offers just about all essential features, including photo and video uploads, creative tools, instant messaging, and more.
Additional features will be introduced in future updates. For example, the app’s developers are already working on a dark mode option after receiving countless requests from early users. For people who live in communal areas and close quarters, it’s really important to browse more privately and not bother those around them,” explained Lourie.
Spotify Is Experimenting With Artist NFT Collections
According to a recent survey, it seems that the currently tested NFT collections are just the first step toward a much broader implementation of NFTs into the platform.
NFT sales may have declined by 92 percent since September 2021, but that’s not stopping Spotify from experimenting with a new feature that lets artists display their non-fungible token (NFT) collections on the music streaming platform.
At the moment, only a small group of artists are taking part in the experiment, including Steve Aoki and The Wombats. What’s more, only select US users of the Spotify app for Android can see NFTs when they visit the profile pages of the aforementioned artists.
“Spotify is running a test in which it will help a small group of artists promote their existing third-party NFT offerings via their artist profiles,” said Spotify spokesperson. “We routinely conduct a number of tests in an effort to improve artist and fan experiences.”
It’s important to point out that not all Spotify experiments result in new features. It all depends on the feedback the music streaming platform receives from users.
According to a survey some Spotify users have recently received, it seems that the currently tested NFT collections are just the first step toward a much broader implementation of NFTs into the platform. More specifically, Spotify seems to be thinking about allowing its users to directly purchase NFT art to support their favorite artists.
Considering how polarizing NFTs have been since their inception in 2014, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that many Spotify users have immediately expressed their dissatisfaction with the idea of NFTs becoming part of the Spotify music listening experience.
Other large tech companies are also experimenting with NFTs. Instagram, for example, started testing NFT integration last week, allowing NFT creators and collectors to display their tokens on the platform. Mark Zuckerberg himself believes that NFTs and digital collectibles in general will play an integral role in the metaverse, the new iteration of the internet.