Facebook spun off its instant messaging functionality into its own app so that it could grow and evolve on its own. That did happen but, unfortunately, the app also grew in size and complexity that rivaled the main Facebook app, and not in a good way. The social media giant has recently been working to keep that overgrowth in check, mostly by producing “Lite” versions of its apps. Now it’s bringing all of those lessons back to the main Messenger app on iOS that is promised to be leaner and simpler, at least on the inside.
Despite all the scandals that Facebook has been involved in, the social media giant remains a force to reckon with and thousands still connect and communicate over Messenger. The instant messaging service has accumulated no small amount of features over the years and, left unchecked, it has bloated the app considerably.
Now Facebook’s software engineers are proudly revealing the fruits of what was internally called Project LightSpeed, an effort to put the app on an extreme diet. That diet, however, is only internal, mostly involving cutting down code from over a million lines to less than 400,000 and optimizing the app’s operations.
On the surface, users should not notice any difference, which is critical to the smooth transition between the two versions of the app. They should, Facebook says, notice how much faster Messenger starts up or how much snappier it is. These savings, both in the app’s size and processes also translate to data savings and, in the end, cost-savings.
The new LightSpeed-based Messenger app is now rolling out on iOS with no word on an Android counterpart. More than just an isolated attempt at efficiency, Project LightSpeed might also play a role in preparing Facebook’s messaging platform for a predicted unification.