Free lightweight Facebook messaging app
Messenger Lite is a free messaging app aimed at users in developing countries who may have problems with lower internet speeds and limited availability of high specification phones.
Due to Messenger Lite being a substantially stripped-down version of Facebook Messenger, it can run on older versions of Android and works seamlessly even on 2G networks.
What’s the difference between Messenger and Messenger Lite?
Messenger Lite is an official client developed by Facebook that leaves out many of Messenger’s functions to save data and processing power.
With Messenger Lite, the emphasis is on messaging and calling, so you don’t get the full raft of features. For example, there’s no group calling and no animation on stickers received.
This also means that Messenger Lite has a much simpler UI than the full version.
What does Messenger Lite do?
You can still message, call, and video chat with Messenger Lite—these are core features of most messaging apps.
However, the way in which this app handles these functions is different. For example, when a photo is received, it’s not downloaded until you tap on it. Until then, you get a thumbnail preview. This way, you can have a peep at what’s been sent and choose not to download it until you’re on a Wi-Fi connection.
Which features are missing in Messenger Lite?
When comparing Messenger Lite with the original Messenger app, there are several notable features absent in the Lite version:
- Avatar creation and personalized stickers: Messenger allows you to create a personalized avatar, selecting from various facial and dress elements. Once created, the app generates a set of customized stickers based on your avatar, which you can use in chats. This feature is not available in Messenger Lite.
- Word effects: Messenger has an animated feature called Word Effects, where specific words trigger related emojis to create a visual animation in chats. Users can even customize these effects for any word, a functionality missing in Messenger Lite.
- Secret conversations: One of the key features of Messenger is its ability to conduct secret conversations that are end-to-end encrypted. This includes the “Disappearing messages” feature, where messages are set to automatically disappear after a certain time, and notifications if someone takes a screenshot. These security features are not present in Messenger Lite.
- Marketplace integration: Messenger integrates with Facebook’s Marketplace, allowing users to manage marketplace messages and perform actions like viewing product details, rating sellers or buyers, and reporting items. Messenger Lite lacks these marketplace functionalities, offering only basic chat sorting by time and date.
- Design and user interface: The original Messenger app features a more complex design with four columns (conversations, calls, stories, and people) and additional options such as camera, new group, new room, and active people indicators. Messenger Lite, in contrast, has a simpler interface with just three columns: Chat, friends, and settings, making it easier to navigate but offering limited functionality in account settings and other features exclusive to Messenger.
- Video capabilities: The original Messenger app includes more advanced video features, which are not as prominent or may be absent in Messenger Lite.
Can Messenger Lite send files?
Yes, you can send and receive all the usual media types. To make the process faster and to reduce the amount of data used, Messenger Lite compresses file sizes.
Does Messenger Lite have video calling?
Yes, it does. Video calling is one of Messenger's core functions, so Facebook has left it intact in Messenger Lite.
Is Messenger Lite faster?
Messenger Lite is designed to be a faster, more efficient version of the full Messenger app. It consumes less data and is optimized for speed, especially on older or less powerful smartphones and in areas with limited internet connectivity. By stripping down to the essential messaging features and reducing the app size, Messenger Lite can offer quicker load times and better performance compared to its fuller-featured counterpart.
Is Messenger Lite secure?
It’s not as secure as the full version, which is because Messenger Lite doesn’t have the Secret Conversations feature with end-to-end encryption with your messages.
Messenger Lite delivers what it promises—a lightweight app that uses 60% less installation memory on your device. The reduced feature set also means that it will run smoothly on a 2G network.
Should you download Messenger Lite?
Yes. If you have an older phone with a lower spec and less memory, or poor internet connection, Messenger Lite is a fast and data-efficient messaging app. If security is more important to you than having a lightweight app, and you’d like to move away from the Facebook ecosystem, check out Telegram and Signal, which are great alternatives.
Should you opt for Messenger Lite if you own a high-end phone or have a substantial data plan? It's a more nuanced decision. Messenger Lite's appeal lies in its minimalistic design and lightweight nature. However, if your usage includes frequent video calls or regularly receiving video messages, the full Messenger app may be more suitable due to its broader feature set. If the additional functionalities of Messenger don't interest you, trying out Messenger Lite could be beneficial to see if it suits your needs.
- Uses 60% less storage than Messenger
- Uses less data
- Works well even on 2G networks
- Simplified interface
- Faster on older devices
- Basic messaging focused
- No end-to-end encryption of messages
- Marketplace messages are shown in the general conversation history
- Basic video capabilities