An alternative to Messenger Lite
September 18, 2023 11:05 AM   Subscribe

With Facebook deciding phone batteries worldwide have had it too good and shutting down Messenger Lite, is there a way to have a bearable Messenger experience on Android?

Specifically, the only two things I need from Messenger are notifications on messages and to let me send chat messages back - Lite did a good job of offering precisely that, with low resource usage and a responsive UI, and I would really like to have that back!

The options, as far as I can see:
* Third party clients, if they exist - Facebook certainly doesn't want anyone using them, and searching for "messenger alternative" either provides solutions from 7 years ago or "Just use Telegram" articles.
* People have suggested that Messenger's web version can be set up as a PWA through Chrome/Firefox, but I'm not sure if this still works and provides notifications?
* Running full Messenger inside a work profile with Shelter or similar - which still subjects me to the telemetry, battery draw and the whims of their UX designers, but would at least let me freeze it when it's not running.

Does anyone have any experience with any of the above options, or do I have to resign myself to becoming that one relative trying to get everyone on Discord/Signal/ham radio?
posted by GenericUser to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Android has really upgraded their privacy and permissions settings. My understanding is that with everything turned to "only while using the app," it basically is frozen when not in use. I have regular Messenger running on Android and it has used little to no data or battery in months.

This may not address the UI complaints.
posted by muddgirl at 11:37 AM on September 18 [1 favorite]

Best answer: * People have suggested that Messenger's web version can be set up as a PWA through Chrome/Firefox, but I'm not sure if this still works and provides notifications?

This works for Facebook itself, but not for Messenger. For me, at least. Trying to use Messenger in Chrome just results in a screen saying to download the app on the Play Store.

I'm not sure Messenger is actually that bad for battery draw nowadays — recent Android versions are pretty good at limiting the power and data usage of apps in the background.

I wouldn't switch to Discord if you are concerned about resource usage.
posted by Klipspringer at 11:42 AM on September 18 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Beeper, maybe?
posted by dobbs at 12:22 PM on September 18 [1 favorite]

@dobbs. Fingers crossed Beeper doesn't go the way IMO did.
posted by gible at 2:45 AM on September 19

Best answer: I wouldn't say that Facebook Lite is awesome, but it does have Messenger built into it now, and that didn't use to be the case. I'd say it's the obvious solution so maybe you already tried it but just in case you were still thinking that Messenger wasn't integrated.
posted by possibilityleft at 8:13 AM on September 19 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you all for the answers!

I was in fact not aware Facebook Lite also included Messenger now - after changing the notification settings it seems to be mostly like I want it :)

I will check out Beeper at some point though!
posted by GenericUser at 1:13 PM on September 19

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