Let’s face it, most of us use Facebook Messenger, not because it’s the best, but because Facebook pushes it down our throats. Since you don’t need to have a Facebook account to use their Messenger app, this means more reach for Facebook and new medium to collect user data. Combine this with the fact that Facebook is the most popular social platform, most of us are forced to use the Messenger app.
Also Read: 7 Best Facebook Alternative Apps for Android
The problem with Messenger
Messenger (like its parent app Facebook) is both RAM and CPU hungry app. It continuously runs in the background, affecting your phone’s performance and eating all the battery juice. They are also known to cause persistent wake locks. Sure, people with the OnePlus 3T aren’t complaining about RAM, but for the average user with a decent smartphone, RAM matters. So the next time your phone lags, you know where to look.
Yes, there is a workaround to send and receive Facebook message without using the messenger app, but that will require a Rooted Android device. Which if you don’t have, or looking for some better solution, here we’ve compiled a list of the best Alternative to Facebook app.
Alternatives for Facebook Messenger
1. Try Facebook Wrappers
Facebook wrappers are nothing but the mobile version of the site, put together in a separate app with some customization of course. They are a light-weight, highly customizable and battery friendly version of the Facebook app with a built in messenger.
Though frankly speaking, all wrappers are 80% same in layout and functionality. Their Messaging feature is also not highly reliable. For instance, we tested all the popular Facebook wrappers, and while we didn’t have any issues in sending Facebook Messages, however, the receiving part was not reliable. Most of the time, we didn’t even get the notification for the received messages.
Following are some Facebook wrappers that you should consider.
1.1 Swipe for Facebook (Free/ $2.99)
Swipe for Facebook is a wrapper which focuses on making your Facebook experience smoother, cleaner and faster.
The UI is tweaked to give more of a Material Design feel. It also comes with Facebook Messenger support and a tabbed setup that lets you swipe between all the various parts of the app. The pro version creates a cache of visited pages so you won’t have to download the page again and you have full control over notifications and looks, thanks to themes support.
1.2 Tinfoil for Facebook (Free)
Tinfoil was one of the first Facebook Wrapper to hit the market. And it is still a robust, no-nonsense app whose rise to fame was courtesy of the fact that it doesn’t ask for any permissions. As the name suggests, it is a web-wrapped version of the Facebook app offering the same functionality with the ability to send messages from within the app itself.
The only downside is that updates aren’t that frequent and hence you can’t expect issues, however rare, to be resolved very quickly.
1.3 Metal for Facebook ($0.99)
Metal is a web-wrapper with some tweaks and additional features included to improve the user experience. Apart from being ad-free, it boasts of notifications, slight UI tweaks, and a few theming options.
Metal also provides a notification shade bar. From here, you can access your news feed, friend requests, messages, and notifications etc. When you select any of these options, it opens a slightly diminished floating window. Opening the app proper provides the full-screen experience. It also has fingerprint authentication for signing in, which is a nifty feature to keep prying eyes away. The developer updates the app frequently, making it a very pleasing experience to use this app.
1.4 Toffeed for Facebook (Free)
Toffeed is a newer Facebook app and to be honest, it needs a bit of working. The layout is quite similar to Tinfoil and Metal, except there is no fix menu bar on top. Scrolling is buttery smooth, though a bit faster than the normal Android motion. It has a few issues and that doesn’t make it the best option for people who are on Facebook constantly. For casual users, it’s a pretty decent option.
1.5 Hermit Lite Apps Browser (Free)
Hermit is not exactly a Facebook Wrapper app but their final product is similar to that. Hermit uses Chrome Custom tabs to create a standalone app for any website. That’s, it takes any website and gives it a nice wrapper, making it appear more like an app.
In itself, Hermit is a tiny app (less than 2MB) and it also allows you to set an auto sync frequency of your liking, leading to, you guessed it, better battery life. If you’re looking for a broader, unified experience, then Hermit is a superb choice and could potentially prolong your battery life considerably.
Bottomline: Facebook wrappers offer all the basic features of both Facebook and Messenger app, combined. However, since Facebook continuously changes their API, the sending and receive messages part is not reliable. Sure some developers are able to find a workaround, but even they understand, it not going to work in a long run.
2. Trillian (Free| $20/ year| $60 for lifetime)
Trillian works on your phone, tablet, and desktop and keeps all your tabs synchronized across all devices. It has a very clean design, much like the official Messenger app but none of the bloatware and excessive RAM usage. One of the major advantages it has over “Disa” (we’ll come to this app later) is that you can configure multiple accounts into it.
It supports apps like “AIM” and “Yahoo! Chat” too. Also, this app has been around for a long time and hence it offers a very clear, bug-free experience to its users.
Bottomline: Good, but the UI is not quite intuitive and you don’t really have to pay for the feature it offers since you can get it for free in our last app.
3. Messenger Lite (Free)
If however, you’re a fan of official apps (really?), then try “Messenger Lite”. Like Facebook lite, it’s a strip down version of the official Messenger app, aimed to the 3rd world countries where fast Internet isn’t always available, people can also use it worldwide as a leaner, faster alternative to Messenger which doesn’t use up as many system resources and also consumes less data!
Bottomline: The app offers the core features from Messenger, like sending & receiving messages, receiving stickers, sharing photos & links. It does miss out on other features like the recently introduced Stories, chat bots, sending stickers, calls, voice messages. But if you are okay with just sending messages and sharing pictures without bogging down your smartphone, then Facebook Messenger Lite is a good alternative to the Messenger app.
4. Fast- Social App (Free)
Fast is one of the oldest Facebook apps available. It has most of the same features as the official Facebook app, including posting, commenting, re-sharing, and access to Groups and Pages. It boasts Facebook chat support as well, although we’re not sure how long that will hold out with Facebook cracking down on how it works on mobile.
Bottomline: In any case, Fast has its issues, but it’s a good effort and works well for basic Facebook use. There is also a Fast Lite option that provides a more basic, but lighter experience.
5. Disa (Unified Messenger Hub) (Free)
One of the problems with instant messaging since time immemorial has been juggling contacts and conversations across multiple services. Disa solves this problem by grouping all the popular instant messaging app under one hood. In simple words, you can send and receive, – WhatsApp, Hangout and Facebook messages etc from one single app.
On the flip side, this app doesn’t allow multiple users for Facebook. Also, it doesn’t allow minor features like the “big” like button or stickers but do the basic texting job pretty well.
Bottomline: The best thing about Disa is it’s highly reliable and easy on the battery. Unlike Facebook wrapper, we got all the Facebook messages notification on real-time. And unlike Trillian, Disa is free and more intuitive UI. Thus making it our favorite Facebook messenger alternative.
Also Read: How to use two WhatsApp on Android using Disa.
These were some of the best alternatives for Facebook Messenger. The best in our view is Metal which offers many tweaks and advanced features like fingerprint authentication plus it’s also a very light-weight. But if you’re in search for an official Facebook app, that offers basic Messenger functionalities and is also less resource hungry then Messenger Lite fits for you better. I personally used Disa, since it’s highly reliable.
Which app do you use for messaging on Facebook? If we missed out any of your favorite messaging apps then do let us know in the comments below.