Messenger Lite For Android Will Be Discontinued By Meta In September

Meta (formerly known as Facebook Inc.) has announced that its stripped down version of Messenger called Messenger Lite, is leaving the Android-verse. Introduced in October 2016, Messenger Lite was targeted specifically at low-income android users with less powerful phones, so they could also enjoy the benefits of talking / chatting with friends on the Messenger platform. Hence, the application provided only the essential features of the original Messenger app by using less processing power and space (RAM). While Messenger Lite did not boast of the lovely features like chat heads, dark themes, and custom designs, regular folks with cheaper phones could still chat with friends, family, and colleagues without their batteries dying quickly, or their phones slowing down. It was a reliable, no fluff application for texting and chatting.

Using the Full Messenger application opens you up to Facebook’s other products and offerings. Users are bombarded with various third party links to order various things. Other pros of Messenger Lite are the fact that you save data when you use it, and it can be used literally anywhere in the world, even in places with limited internet connectivity. Cons of Messenger Lite include non- animation of stickers, lack of stories, limited messaging functions (copy, forward, and delete), and the inability to carry out group calls or find your business pages.

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TechCrunch reports that from August 21st, 2023, people who use the app started receiving messages asking them to chat via the main Messenger application. New users are unable to download the app as it has been taken off the Google Play Store. Current users of Messenger Lite would be unable to use it after September 18, 2023.

A statement released by the tech giant confirmed this new development. Messenger Lite’s shut down comes immediately after another huge change for Android users. Earlier this August, Messenger users were also informed that the application will no longer enjoy support for SMS functions, after September 28th. Meta also stated their intention to end-to-end encrypt Messenger before the end of the year.

What This Means For Regular Users

Although we do not believe this decision will make much of a difference to how people communicate and chat normally, here are some facts about this shutdown:

  • Messenger Lite for iOS was shut down on November 30, 2020, due to lack of traction. So, no, Meta isn’t going back on this change.
  • When users move to Messenger to chat, their chat histories remain intact. This is because their information is linked to their Facebook accounts so there is no need to fear.
  • Although Meta Lite achieved 50 million downloads off Google Play Store in its first year alone and had a whopping 760 million downloads globally (with its major market base in India, Brazil, and Indonesia), it’s use has plateaued as most people now use the feature- filled Messenger app for their chat needs. In simple terms, it isn’t worth the investment anymore.
  • Users who do not want to use the Messenger app can use Facebook Lite (launched just a year prior to Messenger Lite in 2015) or the messaging feature on the regular Facebook app to send and receive messages on Messenger. However, users cannot call using Facebook Lite and messages sometimes stay in the prompt window for some time.
  • Messenger users will no longer use Messenger to send and receive messages sent by their regular cellular networks once they update their apps after September 28, 2023.
  • We do not know how long Meta will continue to support Facebook Lite, seeing as it shares some similarities with Messenger Lite.
  • There will therefore be more people using Messenger and Facebook Lite from September 18, 2023.

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9to5google argues that the season of ‘Lite’ apps is over due to the advent of more powerful devices. Many Messenger Lite users, however, have been quite vocal about their concerns about the constant notifications to migrate to Messenger fully. Their inability to disable the alerts has led to total app uninstall by some users. While there is a lot of speculation about Meta’s reasons to delete the application, most people believe it is a ploy to raise Messenger to newer heights of fame, even greater than that of Facebook itself.

In Summary, Meta has decided to kill off Messenger Lite for Android. Users will not be able to use the application again from September 28th, 2023. Alternatives include getting the full- featured Messenger app, using Facebook Lite, or using Facebook’s messaging feature.

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