Apple Watch Users Will Soon Lose The Facebook Messenger App

If you are an Apple Watch user who has gotten used to responding to Facebook Messenger alerts via your timepiece, there's some bad news coming your way. Starting May 31, 2023, you will no longer be able to use several features of said app on your smartwatch. This is because Facebook is pressing ahead with plans to delist the Facebook Messenger App from the WatchOS App Store. Once the app is removed, new Apple Watch users will no longer be able to download the app onto new WatchOS-powered devices, a MacRumors report confirms.

In case you already have an existing version of the Messenger app installed on your Apple Watch, after March 31, it will continue to function, albeit with restricted features. To begin with, users will lose the ability to give any form of reaction to messages received on the app. The very popular quick replies feature will also disappear. The retirement of the quick replies option also means it's the end of the road for features like speech-to-text dictation and scribble-to-text dictation.

While Meta is yet to make a public announcement surrounding these changes in the form of a blog post, social media is rife with screenshots of Meta making the change known. Several Apple Watch users received a chat notification from Facebook confirming. Screenshots of this message have also made it to several social media platforms, including Twitter.

The Apple Watch quagmire

While Meta has refrained from revealing the reason behind its decision to stop developing the Messenger App for the smartwatch, there is a good chance that lack of popularity of these watch-specific apps did play a role. What is also undeniable is the fact that Facebook has joined a long list of tech firms that have recently pulled the plug on their respective Apple Watch apps. Some of the more famous removals on the WatchOS platform include Slack, Trello, Twitter, Instagram, and Hulu. 

As smartwatches evolved, it has become evident that people don't fancy seeing curtailed versions of their favorite apps on a tiny display — especially given that the satisfaction of enjoying a full-fledged app experience on a smartphone was just an arm's length away. Additionally, smartwatches have, over the years, transformed to become a convenient health and lifestyle accessory, instead of being another home screen for apps and games.

Of course, there will always be a small subset of users who may love these dedicated WatchOS apps. However, in the current economic scenario, it doesn't make financial sense for companies to continue investing their time and resources in maintaining them.