Messenger Lite was announced in October of 2016 and aimed at less-powerful Android devices. It eventually became available for all phones, but Meta is now killing Messenger Lite in September.
For some, opening the app today reveals a fullscreen “use Messenger to keep chatting” prompt. Messenger Lite will no longer be available after September 18. There will be no impact to conversation history: “We know your chats are important to you, so everything from Messenger Lite is still available in Messenger.”
Messenger Lite is going away, and will not be available after Sep 18.
The app is no longer available in the Play Store for new users, but it can still be downloaded by previous ones.
One reason people that didn’t have resource-constrained devices used Messenger Lite is because of minimal cruft. The basic, straightforward messaging app just lets you talk with people without any superfluous design traits. Yes, it lacked features like a dark theme after all these years, but it was never slow and just let you communicate. In many ways, it was an ideal text chat app.
In comparison, using the full Messenger app subjects you to Facebook’s various other efforts and products. Just at a glance, there are links to ordering things and even Meta Quest.
Performance-wise, on a flagship, the app performs just fine, and hopefully it’s the case on all devices today. The app comes in at 54MB versus the previous “less than 10MB to download” selling point of Messenger Lite. Others included:
- “Saves data. It loads fast, runs efficiently and uses less mobile data.”
- “Works everywhere. Reach people when you’re in an area with a slow or unstable internet connection.”
It comes as Messenger is set to drop SMS support next month.
More broadly, if this isn’t just Meta cutting down on non-critical products, there’s an argument that the era of “lite” apps are winding down as devices around the world become more powerful. In the case of Google, Android Go remains — and is about to support Android Runtime updates via Mainline — but the “Go” branding appears to be going away.
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