Facebook Snubs Philippines As Messenger Lite Rolls Out To 132 Other Countries

Why, Facebook, why?

Facebook’s less resource hungry alternative to their messaging app, Messenger Lite, is the perfect fit for the Philippines. It’s, well, light, utilizes less hardware to run and is optimized for less than ideal data connections. It’s surprising then that the Philippines isn’t included in the wider roll-out of Messenger Lite, which sees the lighter version of the app hitting 132 countries, except Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China, Cuba, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Sudan, UK, US and North Korea.

Messenger Lite has all the core features of Facebook’s IM service, which include messaging, photo, link sharing and stickers but doesn’t have the data-intensive Messenger Day and camera effects, you know, stuff that we really don’t need in when talking to our contacts.

It’s the perfect companion to Facebook Lite, the low-data version of the app made for countries with crappy mobile networks such as ours. Again it’s pretty crazy to think that Facebook bypassed the Philippines in this wider roll out of Messenger Lite, especially when our country fits the use case of the app to a T.


John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.


  1. Facebook has a good reason for excluding us from the update. Pinoys actually go out of their way to experience apps like snapchat, IG, and all other image-driven social media platforms. What we can’t access properly through the LTE/3g conenctions, we make-do with with wi-fi access at home, cafe’s and such.

    This means the market is solid in these areas even if it is marginal. And if you look at it, the profile of the this “market” is not too different from the excluded countries in the list. We have similar network connectivity and the audience activity are nearly the same. We take photos, apply filters, then upload – at a lter time. We are used to waiting after all.

    I too used the FB lite app thru manual APK installation. it’s OK for the most part. Only missing is the VoIP calls and video calling features. With that I just ended up using a good Facebook wrapper, Metal Pro. You guys should try it and do a review on it.

  2. Just hoped that Mark and company see us as tech savvy and want the full experience and are grouped with US, UK, Canada, and India.

    Not because we are an outcast country like North Korea, Bangladesh, Sudan and, Iran. 🙂

  3. Thanks to Zeus for Messenger Lite! No more annoying “Share your day” bullcrap. Just a clean messenger that sends and receives messages!

  4. As far as I can tell based on my friends’ usage patterns, Pinoys seem to actually love FB Messenger’s “heavy” features.

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