The messaging app will be closed for current users starting September 18.

Meta has decided to discontinue its minimalistic and storage-efficient messaging app, Messenger Lite, for Android users. The app will be fully closed for current users starting September 18. However, for others, this stripped down version became unavailable on the Google Play Store earlier this month.

Messenger Lite was first introduced in 2016 and had a download weight of just 1MB. It was designed to use less memory and data and run on lower performance processors and low bandwidth connections. The app targeted people using older Android devices – which at the time meant devices from 2009 or 2011 – and was initially rolled out in Kenya, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Tunisia and Venezuela to improve the access to Facebook from all countries of the world, said David Marcus, former head of Messenger at Meta, on social networks at the time.

However, further development of the Messenger app made the Lite version obsolete. When Meta announced the end of Messenger Lite for iOS in 2021, the company said the regular app was “as compact as the Messenger Lite app” and “faster, even on an older device or in an area with poor connectivity”.

“You will also be able to keep all of your old information (like your contacts and message history) after switching to the Messenger app,” the company added. “You can keep the Messenger Lite for iOS app on your device to view your chat history, but note that you won’t be able to download it again from the App Store once it’s been removed.”

According to Facebook, “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.” The move comes just 10 days before another big change planned for Android users by Meta, Messenger will no longer support SMS from September 28. “If you are using Messenger as the default SMS messaging app for your Android device, please note that you will no longer be able to use Messenger to send and receive SMS messages sent through your mobile network.” Users will still be able to send and receive text messages after the change, but SMS functionality will remain in the device’s default messaging app, such as Android Messages.