Meta has begun informing Android users that its Messenger Lite app will soon be shut down completely. This probably doesn’t mean much in the broader scheme, and will probably have fairly limited impact, given the expansion of network technology.
As first reported by 9 to 5 Google, Messenger Lite users on Android are now seeing a new pop-up message in the app informing them that it will be sunset as of September 18th. Messenger Lite on iOS was shut down back in 2020.
As per 9 to 5 Google:
“For some, opening the app today reveals a fullscreen “use Messenger to keep chatting” prompt. 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.‘”
So, it seems that, given the advancement of connective networks, Meta sees little use to keep supporting the separate Messenger Lite app, which is designed for users with limited device space, and low connectivity, in order to connect them into the broader Meta network.
Originally launched in 2016, Messenger Lite reached 50 million Google Play Store downloads just a year later, underlining the demand for a lo-fi version of Meta’s messaging platform in various regions. But six years on, and with mobile adoption continuing to rise, it seems that there’s little need for the separate version of the platform anymore, with more people now able to use the full-functioned Messenger app to engage in digital chats.
We asked Meta about the decision, and it provided this statement:
“Starting August 21, people using the Messenger Lite app for Android will be directed to Messenger or FB Lite to send and receive messages on Messenger.”
So pretty short on detail, but Meta is still supporting Facebook Lite as an option, at least for the time being.
As noted, the impact will likely be minimal, given the broader expansion of more advanced options, but it is worth noting the change in Meta’s product direction.
Meta, of course, is also looking to reduce costs wherever it can, and it could be that the lesser-used Messenger Lite is simply not worth the investment anymore.
So more people will be on Messenger instead, while Facebook Lite could see an influx of users. As noted by TechCrunch, Meta is also shutting down support for SMS on Messenger next month.