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Facebook Keeps Bidding for International Expansion

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Instagram recently reached 1.0 billion users

Facebook (FB) is poised to report its second-quarter results after it recently hit a milestone in its Instagram subsidiary. Instagram announced last month that it has reached a billion monthly users worldwide. The app had 800.0 million monthly users in September 2017.

With a billion monthly users, Instagram has widened its lead over Twitter (TWTR) and its direct rival Snapchat (SNAP), which finished the first quarter with 191.0 million daily users. Instagram last disclosed more than 500.0 million daily users, and Twitter reaches 336.0 million daily users.

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Instagram Lite rolling out

To make Instagram more accessible to prospective users, Facebook recently began rolling out a lightweight version of the app called Instagram Lite. The lightweight app is optimized for emerging markets, where Internet speeds may be slow and data plans may be limited and expensive.

At just 574 kilobytes in size, Instagram Lite is also designed to work well on low-cost smartphones, which are widely used in emerging markets. The flagship Instagram app is 90 megabytes, allowing people in developing countries to download and install the app on their low-cost Android phones.

The rise of lightweight apps

The lightweight version of the app may stimulate Instagram uptake in developing countries, contributing to Facebook’s international expansion. 

Facebook isn’t the only mainstream Internet company trying to make it easier for consumers in emerging markets to use its products. Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Google, Twitter, and Microsoft (MSFT) have also created lighter versions of their popular apps to appeal to users in developing countries.

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