LinkedIn has announced that it’s shutting down LinkedIn Lite, its pared-back version of the platform, designed for users in regions with more restricted connectivity and data access provisions.
Originally launched back in 2017 as a way to help “level the playing field for all members when it comes to accessibility”, LinkedIn Lite includes the basic functionality of LinkedIn, and is designed to load faster, while also using less data, handy for regions with more restrictive data plans.
But as LinkedIn continues to evolve, the Lite app gets further behind, with the full app’s more advanced functionalities - like video connection, full profile display features, Creator Mode, etc. – all getting more and more distant from the streamlined tool.
And with global connectivity evolving, LinkedIn now feels confident that it can move on without the scaled-back variation, which could also help boost in-app engagement and usage, and make LinkedIn a more significant presence in key markets.
Which, as you can see here, are growing. Now at 810 million total members, LinkedIn continues to gain momentum in developing regions, especially India (85m members, up from 60m in 2019), South Africa (+2m since 2019), the Philippines (+3m) and Nigeria (+1m)
As with most social apps, India is a key focus, and LinkedIn says that Indian adoption of the full version of the app is now rising at 4x the global average, as mobile adoption continues to soar in the nation.
At the same time, retirement of the Lite app could also give LinkedIn’s team more opportunity to develop and maintain its new ‘InJobs’ app in China, with the full version of LinkedIn removed from China last October due to increasing regulatory pressure and scrutiny.
At 56 million users, maintaining connection with China is key, and maybe that’s another factor in LinkedIn's decision to step away from its scaled-down version.
Either way, the LinkedIn Lite app will be removed from Android app stores on 27th January 27th, before being deactivated completely March 15th.
LinkedIn says that it will transition Lite app users over to the full LinkedIn experience over the next few weeks.