Instagram vs Instagram Lite: Which One You Should Use

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Martí Micolau
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When an app becomes feature-rich and consumes a lot of data, the Lite version of those apps is immediately released. Be it Facebook, Messenger, Twitter or TikTok. Instagram also had a Lite version but was phased out in May 2020. To the surprise of many, Instagram Lite is back after undergoing some developmental treatment.

Although the latest version of Instagram makes changes to the design, it is natural to wonder if it is possible to use only the Lite version. However, what is the difference between the versions of the Instagram app and the Instagram Lite apps? We will find out in this post.

Lite or Go apps (as Google likes to call them) are lighter versions of real apps designed for low-memory phones. They are designed to work best on mobile networks and low-speed Internet. So should you uninstall the main Instagram app and switch to the Lite app?

Difference in app size

One of the main differentiating factors between the main Instagram and its Lite version is its size. The standard app weighs around 30MB. Can you guess the size of the Lite app? That's only 2 MB.

  • Supload Instagram Lite
  • Download Instagram

So, if your Android phone is running out of storage and you don't want to stop using Instagram, you should uninstall the Instagram app and use Instagram Lite instead.


For now, Instagram Lite works on Android phones. Even though it is designed for phones with low memory, there are no restrictions if you also use it on a premium or high-end Android phone.

Additionally, Facebook is testing the waters with the Lite app in the Indian market before launching it globally just like Facebook Lite. If you don't want to wait, you can download it via APK from trusted sources.

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User Interface

You might think that the Lite app would look drastically different from the main Instagram app. However, this is not the case. The Instagram Lite app is identical to the main app. That said, the fonts may look slightly different. All icons and features are available in their respective locations. Stories and Inbox at the top, followed by tabs (search, notification and profile) at the bottom.

As expected, you won't find all Instagram features in the Lite app. If you're a fan of the old Instagram that only focused on posts and stories, the Lite app might be great for you. You won't find dedicated tabs for newly introduced features like IGTV, Reels, and Shopping. So you can expect a cleaner experience and interact with the people you follow or want to follow.

However, that doesn't mean you can't use IGTV or Reels. If a person has posted an IGTV video or Reel as a post, you can still play it in the Lite app. Did you notice the little video icon on the posts? The Lite app shows the same icon for all videos: regular videos, IGTV or Reels.

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The Lite app also lacks the much-loved dark mode. Other than that, you won't be able to video call people using the Lite app. However, other messaging features such as unsubscribing, sending GIFs or stickers, and disappearing messages work normally. Again, if you think of old Instagram messages, you have everything available. But Instagram messages recently got a big update on the main app. These features (vanishing mode, chat themes, etc.) aren't found in the Lite app yet, for the moment.

Experience difference

Your experience will be completely different based on your expectations and usage. Mainly because the Lite version eliminates some features, as mentioned in the previous section. In Instagram Lite, everything you need works perfectly. You can upload photos, videos and stories smoothly. If you're scrolling through your feed or watching stories, the experience is similar to the main app and slightly better. The reason is that the interface looks less cluttered and more prominent.

However, you will notice the difference between the apps when the Lite app has to load something. For example, if you tap on a profile, it will open slightly slower in the Lite app than in the main app. I'm not saying the loading time is extremely slow or unusable, but coming from the main Instagram app, you notice the difference. And it's made more evident by the progress bar that appears at the top whenever the Lite app needs to load something.

Likewise, it may take some time for the videos to load. Again it is not very slow, but it does not go unnoticed, considering how the main app has accustomed us.

There is an alternative

If your Android phone is low on memory, you can switch to the Instagram Lite app. However, as you have seen, it lacks some features. In case you want to use these features without installing the main app, you need to add the Instagram website as a shortcut. To do this, open from your phone's browser. A pop-up will appear asking you to add the shortcut to the main screen. Tap Install. You can now use another variant of Instagram's Lite app without the Lite variant or main app.

Further Reading:

  • Your private Instagram posts and stories may not be that private
  • How to find out who has not accepted your request to follow him on Instagram
  • How to add more photos to your Instagram Stories
  • What happens when I stop following someone on Instagram
  • How to get Instagram dark mode

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