Is it just me or is Facebook Messenger feeling a little cluttered lately? (Answer: it’s not just me.) The chat app, which Facebook says is used by 1.2 billion people every month, has gone from a simple piece of software for talking to Facebook friends that was split off into its own thing in 2014, to something like an on overcrowded mall of late. It’s getting to where it’s hard to send a basic text message without accidentally pressing a button to send a GIF sticker or triggering the phone’s camera.
You can order pizza with it, hail a ride in some cities, play Spotify music, engage in a “Pac-Man” tournament through Messenger, and in future iterations, you’ll be able to do some augmented-reality tricks.
For anyone who still just used Messenger to chat with Facebook friends, it might be a case of what’s known in the software industry as “Feature creep” or “Featuritis,” when new features keep getting added to a app, turning it from something simple and useful to something bloated and overcomplicated. (Think Microsoft Office and how hard it can sometimes be to navigate so many menu options.)
For those who wish to have a stripped down or alternative version of Messenger without all the new bells and whistles, there are alternative apps including “Friendly,” which works with the platform. Facebook itself has an app called “Messenger Lite,” which uses much less data and dispenses with all the extras. The bad news? It’s only available in other countries including Tunisia, Kenya and Sri Lanka.
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