A lightweight version of Facebook Messenger

Messenger Lite is, as the name suggests, a lighter version of the much-loved Messenger app by Facebook. This software is, in general, widely popular and accessible. However, those using older or poor-quality phones can run into struggles while running the app, especially with the numerous new add-ons. The Lite version is there to help you, providing only the essentials.

A lightweight, simple tool

Everybody can use Messenger Lite, but its primary purpose is to cater to those with older smartphones. With this release, Facebook hopes to reach Internet users from developing countries who lack high-end devices and unlimited data sources.

With Lite, you may run the app with much less storage space, expend less data, and you don’t even need as strong a signal.

As such, this application provides all the essential tools of Messenger — send and receive messages, links, photos, and stickers. It’s lagging behind its full-version counterpart while still covering all the best-known functions of the original app. As of March 2018, it even features video chatting and voice calls.

Avoiding the extras such as stories, games, and extensions, this software makes for a more straightforward, less distracting messaging app.

How it works

Messenger Lite app download is as simple as getting the standard version on your phone. All you need to do is click on the Free Download download button and get the Messenger Lite APK for free.

At first glance, Lite is no different than the official Messenger app. The main interface difference is the fact that with Lite, you’ll only see three primary tabs that stand for the core features of this software.

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Your options are Home, Contacts, and Account. Once you start a conversation, you’ll notice that the same buttons are in the same places as they would be in the standard version. Everything from texting to blocking is readily available.

Messenger vs. Messenger Lite

Although Lite includes the essential features of its parent software, there are specific differences in their functions. In some ways, Lite is better for users seeking to take advantage only of the communication features of the app.

Your inbox located in the Home tab is more straightforward in Lite. There aren’t currently active and recent search sections, only a list of your latest conversations.

In the Contacts tab, you can access people using Messenger as well as a search tab to find anyone you’re looking for. There’s no clutter of invitations, contact requests, phone numbers, and so much more you’d otherwise see.

Finally, the Profile tab is also slimmed down. You won’t get a code, username, Story setting, or Secret conversation. Lite’s Profile tab enables you to synchronize your contacts, switch accounts, view message requests, and configure your notifications. Recently, the developers also introduced a Messenger Lite dark mode which you may pick here.

The messaging feature is the same, but it lacks Location, Games, Plans, GIFs, and other bells and whistles. For this reason, Lite reduces spending on your battery life and data plan.

If you have a slow or unstable internet connection, Lite is also of great help. Unlike standard Messenger, it runs on 2G networks, which means it will stay efficient in low-connection areas.

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Bugs and alternatives

While Lite isn’t necessary for most modern smartphone users, it’s great for some. It has no apparent bugs of its own, only the ones common to Messenger in general.

There’s, however, a significant issue with Facebook Messenger and its Lite version alike. Facebook doesn’t allow you to sign up for its messaging app without a Facebook account, which used to be the case. For this reason, many people are switching to other, less demanding messaging apps.

If you’re also looking for alternatives, Whatsapp and Viber are obvious, popular choices. They do require your phone number, but not much more.

In case you’d like to use a more indie app, WeChat is similar to Whatsapp, allowing you to talk via text, voice, or video. Hangouts by Google are another reliable option.

The end of an era

A few years after shutting down the iOS version of Messenger Lite, Meta is reported to shut down the Android version of it, as well. That means no updates will roll out in the future and it has been removed from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store listings, respectively. While the APK files can still be downloaded from other sources, they’re not guaranteed to work as they used to anymore and will instead link to the Facebook Lite or Messenger apps when launched.

Great but not always necessary

Messenger Lite is great. With its small size and even further simplified user interface, it still enables you to access all key features of the messaging app and stay in touch with other people using this software.

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The only real drawback is the fact it lacks some of the extras the Messenger bundle boasts. However, if you have a newer smartphone model, you will likely end up not needing the Lite app.