New 'Lite' Version of Instagram Requires Less Data and Storage Space


Instagram, one of the top apps used around the world, just got even more accessible. As Entrepreneur India reports, the photo-sharing platform has rolled out Instagram Lite for Android users in developing markets.

The new streamlined version of Instagram retains most of the core features of the original app. Users are able to edit and post images to their feed, share temporary photos with text to their Story, watch their followers' Stories, and discover new content through the Explore tab.

But unlike the old app, the new version requires a lot less space to bring those services to users. Instagram Lite needs just 573 kilobytes of internal storage, compared to the 32 megabytes eaten up by regular Instagram. It also takes up less data as it's being used, making it a better fit for regions with slower-than-average internet speeds. And it's accessible to people who can't afford to upgrade their older phones: As long as the operating system is Android 5.0 or higher, Instagram Lite can run on it.

Instagram Lite is especially designed for users in developing parts of the world, but it's available in the Google Play store for anyone who wants something that's a little easier on their phone. In exchange for less data usage you'll be giving up the ability to send private messages and videos, but Instagram is working on including those features in future updates.

Instagram isn't the only company turning its attention toward emerging markets. With millions of people in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East purchasing their first smartphones, tech companies are tailoring not only apps, but whole devices to fit their lifestyles.

[h/t Entrepreneur India]

Celebrate the Holidays With the 2020 Harry Potter Funko Pop Advent Calendar


Though the main book series and movie franchise are long over, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter remains in the spotlight as one of the most popular properties in pop-culture. The folks at Funko definitely know this, and every year the company releases a new Advent calendar based on the popular series so fans can count down to the holidays with their favorite characters.

SIGN UP TODAY: Get exclusive deals, product news, reviews and more with the Mental Floss Smart Shopping Newsletter!

Right now, you can pre-order the 2020 edition of Funko's popular Harry Potter Advent calendar, and if you do it through Amazon, you'll even get it on sale for 33 percent off, bringing the price down from $60 to just $40.

Funko Pop!/Amazon

Over the course of the holiday season, the Advent calendar allows you to count down the days until Christmas, starting on December 1, by opening one of the tiny, numbered doors on the appropriate day. Each door is filled with a surprise Pocket Pop! figurine—but outside of the trio of Harry, Hermione, and Ron, the company isn't revealing who you'll be getting just yet.

Calendars will start shipping on October 15, but if you want a head start, go to Amazon to pre-order yours at a discount.

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

What Movie Do You Want to Watch? This Website Analyzes Film Critic Reviews to Help You Choose

She's smiling because it only took her two minutes to choose a movie.
She's smiling because it only took her two minutes to choose a movie.
Rowan Jordan/iStock via Getty Images

Much like sommeliers can detect subtle notes of who-knows-what in a sip of wine, film critics are fantastic at identifying influences and drawing parallels between movies. Cinetrii is a handy website that crowdsources all that movie knowledge to help you find your next favorite film.

Basically, you enter the name of a movie you enjoyed in the search bar, and the site will show you a node graph with film recommendations splintering off the search query. Click on one, and you’ll see a quote from a critic (or critics) who referenced the films together. This way, you get a list of recommendations based on different aspects of the movie, and you get to decide for yourself what you’d like to see more of.

If, for example, you were blown away by the special effects in Christopher Nolan’s Inception, you might like Doctor Strange; according to Variety, it boasts “a staggering visual effects innovation, in which the building-bending seen in Christopher Nolan’s Inception is taken to an extreme that would blow even M.C. Escher’s mind.” If what the Chicago Tribune calls an “elegant brain-bender” quality appealed to you more, The Matrix might be a perfect fit.

Films above your search query were released before the movie you typed in, while films below came out after it. The shorter the line, the more closely the films are related, as calculated by the website’s algorithm. And, as Lifehacker points out, that algorithm doesn’t give any special treatment to massive Hollywood blockbusters, so Cinetrii is an especially great way to find hidden gems. Because it shows you the critics' actual quotes, you’re not left to wonder why a certain film landed on the recommendations list—which can’t always be said for “Watch next” lists on streaming services.

You can explore Cinetrii here.

[h/t Lifehacker]