Meta is killing its Messenger for Apple Watch app on May 31, the company confirmed to TechCrunch on Thursday. Apple Watch users who have the app installed are being notified that “after May 31st, Messenger won’t be available as an Apple Watch app, but you can still get Messenger notifications on your watch.”
Although you will still be able to receive notifications for new messages, you won’t be able to respond to them and will instead have to use your iPhone app to do so.
“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,” a Meta spokesperson told TechCrunch in an email. “But they can continue using Messenger on their iPhone, desktop and the web, where we are working to make their personal messages end-to-end encrypted.”
The Messenger app for Apple Watch offers a lot of convenience for its users, as you can still receive messages on your watch even when your iPhone is not paired with the wearable. Users are already taking to social media to voice their displeasure about the upcoming move.
It’s unknown why Meta has decided to discontinue its Messenger app for watchOS. Messenger joins a list of other platforms that have sunsetted their Apple Watch over the past several years, including Slack, Uber and Twitter.
The change comes as Meta’s other messaging app, WhatsApp, is working on a native WearOS app. Earlier this week, WhatsApp launched a beta version of its app compatible with Google’s smartwatch platform. People using WhatsApp beta for Android version 188.8.131.52 will be able to link their Wear OS-based smartwatch. Users will be able to check their messages on the smartwatch, and all chats will be end-to-end encrypted. Google said that support for calls and starting conversations will be available when the app is available to all users.
The move also comes as Meta has been introducing some changes around Messenger. A few months ago, the company began testing the ability for users to access their Messenger inbox within the Facebook app. Back in 2016, Facebook removed messaging capabilities from its mobile web application to push people to the Messenger app, in a move that angered many users. Now, the company is testing a reversal of this decision.