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Meta has confirmed to TechCrunch that it is shutting down Messenger Lite, its lightweight version of the Messenger app.

Users of the app are receiving a message suggesting they switch to using the main Messenger app for their chats. The app has already been removed from the Google Play Store for new users, and existing users will lose access after September 18.

A spokesperson from Meta explained that starting from August 21, Android users of Messenger Lite will be directed to either the main Messenger app or FB Lite to continue their messaging activities.

Originally introduced in 2016 under the name Facebook, Messenger Lite was designed for users with less powerful Android devices. By offering only the essential features of Messenger, it aimed to minimize storage usage and processing demands.

Despite being launched for iOS as well, the company ceased support for Messenger Lite on iOS in 2020.

Data from analytics firm data.ai revealed that the Lite versions of the app were downloaded around 760 million times globally. Notably, India had the largest share of these downloads, followed by Brazil and Indonesia, with the United States ranking eighth.

This news coincides with Meta’s recent announcement that SMS support will be removed from Messenger next month. Users were informed that they won’t be able to send or receive SMS messages through Messenger after updating their app post-September 28, 2023.

Meta also revealed plans to activate end-to-end encryption by default for Messenger by the end of this year. Additionally, the company is expanding testing of this encryption feature to involve millions more users’ conversations.

By Elijah Christopher 

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