First launched in 2016, Messenger Lite was designed primarily for Android devices with limited capabilities. While initially targeted at specific devices, it became accessible to a broader range of phones. However, Meta, the company behind the application, has decided to retire the app this September. Users opening the app today are greeted with a notification urging them to shift to the main Messenger app, ensuring them that their chat history remains unaffected. The message emphasizes, "We know your chats are important to you, so everything from Messenger Lite is still available in Messenger."
While Messenger Lite is scheduled for removal on September 18, it's already been delisted for new users on the Play Store. However, existing users can still access and download it for the time being.
One of the primary reasons Messenger Lite gained popularity, even among users with advanced devices, was its simplistic design. This stripped-down version offered a straightforward chat experience, devoid of unnecessary design elements. Though it lacked certain features like a dark mode, it provided a speedy communication channel, making it many users' go-to text chat application. In contrast, the full-fledged Messenger app incorporates various links to other Facebook initiatives and products, such as e-commerce and even references to Meta Quest.
Messenger Lite reaches its end
On the performance front, the app has always been efficient. The original appeal of Messenger Lite was its minimalistic size, boasting a "less than 10MB download." Other highlighted features were its data-saving capabilities and its ability to work in areas with poor connectivity. This decision coincides with Messenger's upcoming plan to withdraw SMS support.
On a larger scale, this move might suggest a trend in the tech industry. The need for "lite" versions of apps could be diminishing as global devices become increasingly advanced. For instance, Google's Android Go continues to exist, albeit the "Go" branding seems to be fading.