Do you use Messenger for your SMS? You’ll have to switch apps soon

Facebook has announced that its Messenger app will no longer handle text messages starting September 28. You will therefore have to find another default application.

Since 2016, the Facebook Messenger application can be used as the default SMS application, instead of the application installed by default on your smartphone. A feature that it likes to regularly remind its users to encourage them to use it for this purpose, in addition to the only instant messaging of the social network.

However, this feature will soon disappear from Messenger as indicated by Facebook in a dedicated help page: ” Starting September 28, 2023, texting will no longer be available when you update your Messenger app “. The social network then details a little more the consequences of this update:

If you are using Messenger as your default messaging app for text messages on your Android device, please note that you will no longer be able to use Messenger to send text messages and receive text messages from your mobile network after updating the app from September 28, 2023. You’ll still be able to send and receive text messages through your mobile network and access your text history through your phone’s new default messaging app. If you don’t choose your new default messaging app, your texts will move to your phone’s default messaging app, like the Android Messages app, for example.

A feature closed without explanation

Meta does not further explain this change in strategy, but we can make a few guesses. First, the Messenger application is not compatible with the latest messaging standards, such as RCS – unlike Google Messages or Samsung Messages. Moreover, the integration of this functionality necessarily requires support from the Meta developers. However, the firm has laid off 21,000 people since the end of last year. It is therefore now seeking to refocus on its core business, namely messaging, social networks and the metaverse. Finally, if Facebook has particularly encouraged its users to use Messenger as the default SMS application, no figures indicate that this function has been massively adopted. We can therefore imagine that, seven years after its launch, Facebook decided to pull the plug in the face of an acknowledgment of failure.

If you ever used Messenger as your default SMS app, you have a month and a half to find a new app. If you don’t necessarily plan to switch to the application installed automatically on your phone, you can always take a look at our guide to the best SMS applications on Android.

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