Messenger vs Messenger Lite: What’s the difference?

Facebook Messenger is a popular messaging app, which links itself to your Facebook contacts. You can freely message your Facebook friends without having to deal with the many distractions, and various features, Facebook itself contains. The messaging app is free to use, and is available on both Android and iOS.

Messenger is a multi-platform app, supporting text messages, voice messages, voice calls, and video calls.

Messenger Lite came out later in 2016, as a simpler and more reduced version of the original Facebook Messenger.

Users often wonder about the difference between the two apps, as they both have similar purposes and designs. We’ll compare the two apps, and cover their differences, in this review.

Messenger vs Messenger Lite

There are many similarities between both Messenger and the Lite version, though generally Lite is just a stripped down version of the original – you can still do basic things like finding message requests with Messenger Lite though. We’ll go over the basic aspects of both apps, starting with their availability.

Availability

Messenger is available on both Android and iOS devices, making it a useful app for various audiences.

Messenger Lite, on the other hand, is no longer available on the iOS App Store. Thus, it is no longer available on iOS devices. It was originally available on iOS, but it got removed from the iOS App Store in late 2020. This means that Messenger Lite is restricted to certain audiences, unlike Messenger.

App Size

The size of each app varies slightly across different devices, but Messenger Lite is always smaller in size than Messenger. This makes Messenger Lite a more convenient app to have, especially if you’re worried about device storage, or you’re running low on storage.

Replacing Messenger with Messenger Lite can help reduce your device storage if need be.

On iPhone, Messenger Lite takes up about 76MB.

ios-app-size

On Android, Messenger Lite takes up about 44MB whilst Messenger itself takes up about 217MB.

app-sizes

Overall, Messenger Lite takes up much less storage than Messenger does. The difference is most glaring on Android devices, which makes Messenger Lite quite a useful alternative for those who worry about storage space.

The reason for the difference in app size is mostly due to the lesser amount of features on Messenger Lite compared to the original Messenger. There are less features, less fonts, and lower-quality images.

Features

There are quite a few differences regarding the features in both apps.

The biggest difference, is the amount of features offered in both apps. Messenger offers a lot more features, whilst Messenger Lite mostly only retains the most vital features.

For example, Messenger offers animated stickers, whilst Messenger only offers non-animated stickers.

Messenger Lite also doesn’t change in theme when you’re in dark mode, whilst Messenger does.

There are also just very limited customisation options in Messenger Lite. For instance, you can only change the colour of your chat as customisation. Messenger, on the other hand, allows you to change a chat’s theme, as well as colour or gradient.

There are also less emoji options available when you try to add one in the customisation options.

Overall, if you enjoy customising your chats in Messenger, Messenger Lite may not be the most suitable app for you.

There’s also no option to create a chat room in Messenger Lite, whilst the option is available in Messenger.

Finally, there’s no chat heads option in Messenger Lite, whilst the feature is available in Messenger. The chat heads feature is very useful for those who wish to multitask when using Messenger.

chat-heads-feature

UI

Both Messenger and Messenger Lite have very similar UI design.

The are a few differences between the UI, one of them being that Messenger Lite has less options available. Therefore, Messenger Lite’s UI is more simplistic and neater. It is also, as a result, easier to navigate.

One of the differences in UI layout, is how Messenger Lite has different tab options at the top of the screen. Messenger, on the other hand, has tab options on the bottom of the screen. Neither is necessarily bad or disruptive in regards to their placement. Whichever one is more appealing, is dependent on your personal preference.

Another difference, is that Messenger Lite allows you to hide the stories section, whilst there is no such feature in Messenger. This is advantageous to those who wish for a more minimalistic or neater UI layout, which Messenger Lite supports.

Overall, if you prefer a neater or more simplistic UI design, Messenger Lite may be the more suitable app for you. However, keep in mind that you’ll no longer have access to a number of features if you choose to use Messenger Lite over Messenger.

Messenger

Pros

  • Free
  • More features.
  • More customisation options.
  • Can create rooms.
  • Can change to dark mode if phone is in dark mode.
  • Has chat heads feature.

Cons

  • More cluttered UI.
  • Can’t collapse stories.
  • Takes up more storage.

Messenger Lite

Pros

  • Free.
  • Neater UI.
  • Can collapse stories.
  • Takes up few storage space.
  • Can still customise chats.

Cons

  • Less features.
  • Can’t create rooms.
  • Less customisation options.
  • Doesn’t change to dark mode when phone is in dark mode.
  • No chat heads feature.

Common Questions

Is Messenger Lite free?

Yes, Messenger Lite is a free messaging app, just like its originator – Messenger. Both apps are free to download and use. There are no in-app purchases.

Is Messenger Lite available for iOS?

No, Messenger Lite is no longer available for iOS devices. It was originally on the iOS App Store, but got removed in late 2020. It’s unsure whether the app will become available again on the iOS App Store.

How is Messenger Lite better than Messenger?

Messenger Lite takes up less storage, and has a neater UI. It does have fewer features, but it retains the most important ones. It’s suitable for those who want a simpler messaging app than Messenger offers, or those who worry about running low on storage space.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there are a few differences between Messenger and Messenger Lite. Messenger Lite takes up less storage, and has a neater UI.

However, Messenger has much more features, especially in regards to customisation options. Messenger Lite, on the other hand, lacks quite a few features available in Messenger. For example, chat heads, and room creation.

Overall, if you wish for a simple messaging app, or you worry about storage space; Messenger Lite may be the preferable choice.

Alternatively, if you enjoy chat customisation, or you like the various features available in Messenger, Messenger may be the more suitable choice.

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Author

Jenny

I love reading, writing, drawing, and other creative pursuits. I wish to travel more and do extreme activities, such as bungee-jumping and skydiving. I'm a casual gamer with an affinity for narrative-driven games and unique art styles. I like watching a variety of different media, but I particularly enjoy animations and musicals. My favourite genre, for both books and visual media, is psychological-thriller.

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