Meta announced that its Messenger app will no longer support SMS messaging as of September. The change, which was quietly announced via in-app notifications and an updated support page, means that Android users who rely on Messenger as their default texting app will have to switch to another SMS app next month.
Messenger first enabled SMS support in 2012 but discontinued it a year later. In 2016, Facebook reintroduced SMS capabilities, keeping text messaging separate from Messenger’s internet-based chats. SMS threads in the app used a distinct purple theme compared to the default blue, with Facebook marketing the SMS experience as an improved version.
Meta has not detailed explained the change, saying only that “you will no longer be able to use Messenger to send and receive SMS messages sent from your mobile network.” However, the removal of SMS support may reflect a shift in strategy as Messenger highlights its advanced features for encrypted messaging and social communication.
If you use Messenger as your default SMS messaging app for your Android device, please note you will no longer be able to use Messenger to send and receive SMS messages sent by your cellular network when you update your app after September 28, 2023
The SMS phase-out appears to be tied to an upcoming update to Messenger, likely in late September. Once users install the updated version from the Google Play Store, SMS will no longer work.
While Meta’s messaging app will lose SMS, Android phones will still be able to send and receive text messages through the default messaging app provided by the operating system. Third-party SMS apps are now less popular due to not having access to RCS features. You know more about it here.
Meanwhile, Google established its messaging app as the default on Android. Carriers and device manufacturers have standardized mainly on Google’s Messages app for SMS/RCS messaging.