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  • Philip Osadebay - Tech Journalist

Messenger Lite for Android will be discontinued by Meta in September

Meta, formerly known as Facebook, has confirmed the discontinuation of Messenger Lite which is the streamlined version of its Messenger app. The company has confirmed this move, stating that users of the Lite app are now encountering messages urging them to switch to using the standard Messenger platform for their chat interactions.

With the removal of the app from the Google Play Store for new users and a scheduled cessation date of September 18th for existing users, the era of Messenger Lite is gradually drawing to a close.

A spokesperson from Meta elaborated on this transition, stating, "Starting from August 21, individuals using the Messenger Lite application on Android devices will be redirected to either Messenger or Facebook Lite in order to send and receive messages."

The objective behind the introduction of Messenger Lite in 2016 was to provide to Android users possessing less powerful devices. By offering the fundamental features of Messenger, the Lite version aimed to optimise storage utilisation and minimize processing power. It's worth noting that despite its initial expansion onto iOS, Meta decided to terminate the Messenger Lite app for iOS users back in 2020.

Highlighting the global reach of the Lite versions, data from mobile analytics reveals that Messenger Lite has had an approximate total of 760 million downloads worldwide. Notably, India emerged as the largest contributor to these downloads, followed by Brazil and Indonesia. Surprisingly, the United States secured the eighth position in terms of lifetime downloads.

This development coincides with Meta's recent announcement regarding Messenger's forthcoming discontinuation of SMS support. Users were notified that when they update their app from September 28, 2023, they would no longer be able to use Messenger for sending and receiving SMS messages from their cellular network.

In alliance with these changes, Meta disclosed its intentions to implement end-to-end encryption as the default setting for Messenger. With this security enhancement anticipated to be in place by the close of the present year. Moreover, the company revealed its plans to expand the testing of end-to-end encryption features to involve millions more conversations, a move aimed at fortifying the privacy and security of user interactions within the platform.


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