Meta’s Facebook Messenger app will drop support for SMS and MMS by the end of September.
As spotted by 9to5Google, Meta has started notifying users about the change and has published a support article explaining how users can change their default SMS/MMS app. Meta says that “as early as September 28, 2023, SMS messages will no longer be available when you update your Messenger app.”
To change your default SMS app, go to your phone’s Settings app and head to Apps > Default apps > SMS app > select from the available options. Alternatively, opening another SMS app on your phone should prompt you to change the default. Meta also notes that if users don’t pick a new SMS app, it should switch to their phone’s default SMS app.
It’s worth noting this change won’t impact iPhone users since Apple doesn’t allow you to change the default SMS app.
Facebook Messenger has offered SMS support on and off for years. The app first got it in 2012 but dropped it in 2013, only to bring it back in 2016. At the time, third-party SMS apps were somewhat popular on Android devices, especially when they offered expanded features over the often mediocre default apps.
Facebook Messenger likely tried to capitalize on it by letting users access SMS and Facebook messages in one place, sort of like an iMessage experience, though not quite as seamless.
These days, however, third-party SMS apps have largely fallen by the wayside in favour of Google’s Messages app and RCS or third-party instant messaging apps like WhatsApp. Unfortunately, RCS isn’t available to third-party apps like SMS and MMS were, and since RCS is now the default messaging system for Android, it likely doesn’t make sense for Messenger to offer SMS and MMS support.
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