Messenger vs. Messenger Lite
When the Messenger app first launched, it was little more than a texting program. But today, it has become a powerful app with countless features that could keep users entertained for days. Still, not all users have welcomed these advanced options and have switched to the stripped-back Messenger Lite.
This article will discuss how these two similar apps operate, break down their benefits and disadvantages, and help you decide which fits your needs.
Let’s dive in.
You can use Facebook Messenger as a window inside your web browser or as a mobile app. As a stand-alone app, Messenger is a popular platform for streamlining communication and connects users with Facebook friends through messaging and video or voice calls.
How the Mobile App Works
Users who have stopped opening their Facebook profiles rely on the Messenger app to handle their communication needs. It operates similarly to other messaging programs and is well-integrated with the Facebook system.
One key feature of Messenger is that you can’t access it through the Facebook app directly.
Instead, you must download and install the Messenger app from the Google Play or Apple App store.
When you launch the app, you’ll notice the familiar Facebook interface. Due to this familiarity, most new users quickly get into the swing of things. The app is one of the simplest ways to start conversations, find your message history, initiate group chats, and make friends on the platform.
The mobile and web version are well-connected, meaning that Facebook updates chat histories automatically.
While using Messenger on your smartphone may not always provide a seamless experience, the app integrates with your device’s operating system. The integration allows you to use Messenger to initiate video chats, voice calls, group chats, and other features.
How the Web-Based Version Works
When you open Facebook through your internet browser, a list of your contacts appears on the right part of the desktop. Tapping one contact brings up the Messenger window and your thread history. Clicking on the Messenger icon in the upper-right parts of the screen generates your message history. The most recent messages appear first, followed by older chats.
The Messenger window is the go-to place for crafting messages, but it’s full of other advanced features. You can use it to send stickers, play games, share multimedia files, and even send money.
The buttons in the upper part of the windows enable voice calls by accessing your computer’s microphone and speakers or video chats through your webcam.
Messenger App Pros and Cons
Easy to Use
The Messenger app is free and easy to use, a winning combination. There’s no learning curve you need to tackle, and you can start chatting away instantly. The app is plugged in directly to the platform’s chatting system, so messages don’t have to go through a mobile browser. Instead of waiting a few seconds to receive a text notification, the chat head will immediately pop up on your screen.
Texting, but Free
Depending on your plan, SMS texting can be expensive, and the same goes for MMS messages. While Facebook Messenger pulls data, you can access its features without breaking the bank.
Good for Collaboration
The Messenger app is an effective tool for sharing files and links. Those telecommuting or working at an office without an established communication system often rely on the app to keep in touch with coworkers.
Despite its simplicity of use, Messenger is not without drawbacks. Most notably, users take issue with Facebook’s terms and conditions, which state Messenger could record audio without permission and dial phone numbers.
If you’re swamped with urgent tasks, Messenger may disturb the peace you need to get work done. The pop-up notifications come with a loud beep as the chat head floats on the screen. While you could mute the messages to create a distraction-free environment, it might be better to stick to traditional SMS texting.
Drains Your Battery
The app runs in the background of your mobile device, quickly eating away at its battery life. It issues an audio alert whenever you receive messages, further cutting into the battery. On days when multiple friends contact you through Messenger, it’s unlikely your device will manage to pull through. This may not be an issue if you’re in the habit of carrying a phone charger wherever you go.
Facebook Messenger Lite
Not everyone wants a messaging app packed with countless features. For this reason, Facebook rolled out Messenger Lite, equipping it with only the essential messaging features.
How It Works
Messenger Lite is built on the basic structure of the original Messenger app, allowing you to send photos, stickers, texts, and links to your Facebook contacts.
While the original app offers additional features like extensions, automated messaging, and stories, the core of Messenger Lite is instant messaging. Its stripped-down build results in a simple, distraction-free app that doesn’t require as much data, processing power, and storage space.
At first glance, the Lite version looks similar to the standard Messenger. But instead of several menus hogging your screen, there are only three tabs in the upper part of the app. These are Contacts, Messages, and your Account.
When you initiate a new conversation or select an existing thread, you’ll see the button placement mimics the Messenger layout. You can type a text in the messaging field, record voice messages, send files, transmit stickers, and block or mute contacts. And that’s as far as Messenger Lite’s features go.
How Is Messenger Lite Different From Messenger
Although Lite is a simpler version of Messenger, and both serve similar purposes, there are a few noticeable differences.
When you launch Lite and head underneath the Messages tab, you’ll notice your recent chats and active users list. Unlike Messenger, Lite doesn’t allow you to initiate new conversations or search chats directly from the messages tab.
If you want to participate in a group conversation, select the plus icon in the lower right corner of the interface.
The Contacts tab displays a list of your contacts who use Messenger. You can find contacts quickly and start conversations with them using the search bar at the top of the screen.
This process is more complicated in the original Messenger as the app provides options to view connection requests and organize your contacts alphabetically.
The Account tab in Messenger Lite is the most noticeable difference from the standard app. The tab doesn’t contain a code, customizable username, story settings, or hidden message access. Still, you can switch between profiles, configure notifications, access message requests, and sync contacts.
The chat functions in Lite and Messenger are nearly identical. However, received photos won’t load in high resolution until you press to expand them. Facebook games and extensions like Gfycat or Spotify are unavailable in the Lite chat window.
On most mobile devices, Lite takes up considerately less storage space than standard Messenger. Its smaller size requires less memory use.
Wi-Fi and Data
Lite doesn’t drain as much battery life and data because it only offers basic features. It runs smoothly on 2G networks and provides relatively reliable service in areas with slow or unstable wireless connections.
Where Messenger Lite Shines
Messenger Lite is compatible with most Android devices and trumps Messenger in certain conditions. Lite is the go-to messaging app if:
- You have an older smartphone with unimpressive processing power.
- Your phone has limited storage.
- Facebook Messenger doesn’t work with your data plan.
- You often use low-speed or unstable networks.
Facebook removed the Lite app from the Apple App Store in 2020 and has yet to release an upgraded version. Until the rerelease, iOS users should wait it out and use Messenger or a different messaging program.
Standard or Lite, Take Your Pick
You can trust Messenger to connect you to family and friends if you prefer apps with robust and entertaining features. Those who want to declutter their digital space should consider switching to the Lite version. It has all the communication essentials for hassle-free video calling and messaging.
Have you used the standard app or Messenger Lite before? Which did you prefer? What features did you like the most? Let us know in the comments section below.
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