Meta has officially announced that it will be discontinuing its Facebook Messenger app for the Apple Watch on 31st May.
Currently, users with the app installed on their watches are receiving information that Messenger will no longer be accessible as an app specifically for the Apple Watch after the mentioned date. Nonetheless, users can still expect to receive Messenger notifications on the wearable device.
Although it will still be possible to receive new message notifications. Users will no longer have the option to respond to these messages directly from their Apple Watch. Instead, responses must be composed and sent using the iPhone app.
Meta stated that, “People can still receive Messenger notifications on their Apple Watch when paired, but starting at the beginning of June they will no longer be able to respond from their watch.”
The company emphasised that Messenger will still be accessible on other platforms —iPhone, desktop, and web. And that they are working towards end-to-end encryption for personal messages on these platforms.
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The Messenger app for the Apple Watch has proven to be a convenient tool for its users. It allows them to receive messages even when their iPhones are not connected to the wearable device. Unsurprisingly, many users have taken to social media to express their dissatisfaction regarding the app’s forthcoming discontinuation.
The exact reasons behind Meta’s decision to sunset its Messenger app for watchOS remain unclear.
This move follows similar decisions made by other platforms in recent years. With Slack, Uber, and Twitter all have discontinued their respective Apple Watch apps.
Interestingly, this announcement comes at a time when Meta’s other messaging platform, WhatsApp, is actively working on developing a native app for WearOS.
The company released a beta version of the WearOS-compatible app earlier this week, allowing testers with Android version 188.8.131.52 of WhatsApp beta to link their smartwatches, receiving and reading end-to-end encrypted messages on the devices.
In another interesting move, Meta has been implementing changes within Messenger itself. Recently, Facebook began testing the integration of Messenger inboxes within the main app. Contrasting with its 2016 decision to remove messaging capabilities from its mobile web application – prompting users to install the dedicated Messenger app and frustrating many – Meta has now begun testing a reversal of that decision.