Pinterest is the most recent tech company to introduce a “Lite” version of its mobile app to meet the needs of users in emerging markets. With Pinterest Lite, users will have a faster download and an app that takes up less storage space on their smart device, the company says.
Pinterest earlier offered a Pinterest Lite app on Google Play, but this app was pulled a year ago, according to data from App Annie.
The new Pinterest Lite app is essentially Pinterest’s Progressive Web App (PWA) that’s been made available to Google Play users as a download.
This is a project that’s been underway for some time, according to a post last year on Pinterest’s Engineering blog. There, the company admitted that its mobile web experience had been “terrible” and in need of an update.
In July 2017, the company formed a team to rebuild the mobile web app from scratch as a PWA. It said this would offer a better app experience for users in low-bandwidth environments and on restricted data plans.
The Pinterest Lite mobile app is available to Android users in Peru, Argentina, Colombia, Chile and Mexico, and sized in at a tiny 1.4 MB. The main Pinterest app’s size differs by device on Android, but is considerably larger. On iOS, it’s 143.1 MB, for comparison’s sake.
“The goal is to bring Pinterest to everyone around the world so they can discover inspiration related to their interests wherever they might be,” a Pinterest spokesperson said to the media.
Pinterest is now one of many top publishers who offer a “Lite” version of their flagship apps.
Who else offer “Lite” version?
Tech giant Google has a full set of lightweight “Go”-branded apps, like Google Go, Gmail Go, Files Go, YouTube Go, Google Maps Go and Google Assistant Go. There’s also Facebook Lite, Instagram Lite, Messenger Lite, Twitter Lite, Uber Lite, Spotify Lite, TikTok Lite, Skype Lite and LINE Lite, to name a few others in the business.
Releasing a Lite app is a baseline requirement these days for competing in emerging markets.