With over 1.3 billion monthly active users, Facebook Messenger is at par with WhatsApp, which passed the same figure in July 2017. The original Messenger app comes loaded with several advanced features such as support for GIFs, animations, over-sized emojis, Stories, and etc.
All these features make up a heavier Messenger app that gets sluggish at times. Fortunately, there is an alternative called Messenger Lite. Facebook's very own Lite version of the messenger app is getting popular on app stores.
Facebook's original messenger app multiplies in size and consumes more storage over a period of time. The Messenger takes up total 199MB data, out of which the app size itself is 139MB while the user data is 59.72MB.
On the other hand, Messenger Lite takes up a total space of just over 25MB, out of which the app size is 20.20MB and the user data is over 3MB.
The average memory usage is around 187MB for the Facebook Messenger while the Messenger Lite uses just 46MB of memory.
Quick Fact: Messenger Lite doesn't pre-load received photos unless you manually tap on them. Till then, the received photos are seen in a low-res thumbnail.
2. UI and Overall Design
One of the main difference between the two apps is the user interface (UI). The Messenger app looks cramped up with several action buttons.
The navigation bar at the bottom comprises buttons for Home, Contacts, Camera, Games, and Bots. Messages, Active, Groups, and Calls buttons are at the top along with the search bar and the Me bubble for the user profile. This makes the whole chatting experience unintuitive.
Messenger Lite, however, ditches almost all of these extra features and focuses on three simple buttons at the top for Home, Contacts, and Profile. You can simply swipe right or left to toggle among them.
The exclusion of the navigation bar allows Lite to offer more room leading to easier navigation. One of the best things about Messenger Lite is its ability to provide its user with a seamless conversation in fewer taps.
The real issue with the Messenger app is the overdose of a bunch of features that are hardly ever used.
3. Features and Capabilities
With Messenger Lite, you can send and receive messages, images, voice notes, and stickers and make/receive audio calls using Wi-Fi. One thing you cannot do with Lite is make or receive video calls and it's okay, if you ask me, as you already have dozens of apps for video calls.
However, one area where Messenger Lite falls short is security. Facebook Messenger offers end-to-end encryption with Secret Conversations.
Also, since the whole idea behind Lite is to save data, it doesn't feature animations in stickers, GIFs, and location sharing.