If you use Facebook's popular Messenger app regularly on your iPhone or iPad, you're in for some good news. Social media giant Facebook says it has released a redesigned version of Messenger that opens twice as quickly as the previous version and is one-fourth the size of the original app. The company says the new Messenger app is also much simpler, both to use and maintain. It thanks its internal revamp initiative called Project LightSpeed for the app's improved speed and simplicity.
Facebook admits that the Messenger app became bloated with features at some point since its initial launch in 2011. "We added video calling, GIFs, location sharing and more. And while people enjoyed these features, the app became harder to navigate and the architecture became increasingly complex," writes Raymond Endres, VP of Engineering for Messenger in a news release. Sometime in late 2018, when it launched Messenger 4, the company realised it had to make the app lighter and simpler even though it was offering the lighter Messenger Lite app.
According to Facebook, developing the new Messenger was a challenge but the effort was worth it. The new app is part of an internal initiative called Project LightSpeed, which relies on the OS' existing components and demands that UI elements be reused heavily to reduce code size. As part of LightSpeed, Facebook has reduced the app's core code by a whopping 84 per cent. This means the new app runs on 3,60,000 lines of code, not on 1.7 million as it did before. Facebook says it had to run through 40 versions of the app's contact list to pick one that "works consistently across the app".
While Facebook waxes proud about its redesigned Messenger app for iOS devices, it does not talk about an Android equivalent. Until such a redesigned app turns up on the Google Play Store, you will have to use the Messenger Lite app if you want a lighter messaging option from Facebook. The Messenger Lite app has been around since late 2016. It comes with fewer features than the real deal but weighs less than 10MB for download.