LinkedIn has launched a stripped down version of its service as a mobile app that takes up only 1MB space, reports TechCrunch. The Android app named LinkedIn Lite is now live in India and the company plans to extend it to 60 other countries. The lite version is aimed at countries where Internet connection is slow or unreliable. LinkedIn claims that the app reduces data usage by 80%, loads pages in under 5 seconds even on a 2G network. A LinkedIn spokesperson told TechCrunch that the app won’t be available on iOS anytime soon.
Apart from faster load speeds, LinkedIn Lite will have all other basic features including news feed, jobs, profile, LinkedIn networks/groups, messaging, notifications, and a search option. These features will, however, contain less graphic animations and other features that might consume a lot of data, the report added. Note that LinkedIn Lite was initially debuted as a mobile website in India last year, along with two other India specific launches. The Microsoft owned service currently claims to have 500 million users. An Economic Times report added that LinkedIn has already tested the Lite app in other markets, and it claims to have delivered a higher growth in user engagement. The company added that the Lite version which was launched in India last year, saw growth coming in from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, with engagement rates going up by three-fold.
It’s worth noting that it’s not just LinkedIn that has been trying to penetrate the Indian market with a stripped down ‘Lite’ version. Facebook, Microsoft, and local companies like MobiKwik have also been rolling out light-weight versions of their products in India. Facebook and Google have taken in one step ahead with their Instant Articles and Accelerated Mobile Web (AMP) pages—services which convert an entire mobile web page into lighter and readable formats in order to load them faster. But these initiatives have been criticized for hurting publisher’s revenues, even though it allows native ads.
List of India specific ‘Lite’ apps
Facebook: Messenger Lite, a lightweight version of Facebook’s chat application was launched in India this month, almost 9 months after it was first launched in Kenya, Tunisia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Venezuela, and about three months after it was expanded to 150 additional countries. There is also a Facebook Lite app launched in June 2015, which uses less data, designed for 2G networks.
Twitter: launched a data-optimized version of its app, Twitter Lite in April 2017, and claimed that it is 30% faster than its native app and reduces data usage. It also made Twitter Lite compatible with six Indic languages: Hindi, Bengali, Kannada, Tamil, Gujarati, and Marathi.
Microsoft: The company has launched Skype Lite in February 2017. The app can run on lower-end phones and slow 2G networks. Earlier this month, Microsoft has rolled out its Aadhaar integration on Skype Lite.
MobiKwik: Digital payments company MobiKwik launched its lightweight app MobiKwik Lite in November last year, which allows payment transfer between users. The company later slightly tweaked the app’s usability.
Lenskart: launched an Android app called Lenskart Lite in January 2017, which requires no internet for shopping, and is designed to work with slower 2G and Edge networks.