Facebook Messenger users who also happen to wear an Apple Watch are going to have to start using their iPhone to send messages soon, it seems.
While neither Facebook nor Meta have officially announced anything it appears that Messenger will no longer be available as an Apple Watch app come the end of May 2023. Users will of course continue to receive notifications from the iPhone that their Apple Watch is paired with, but the ability to reply to messages will be stripped out.
Sending messages afresh will also no longer be available once the Apple Watch app has been canned.
A stealthy removal
With no official press release from Meta or Facebook, this news has instead come via a message that some Apple Watch users have received from the Messenger app itself. What's more, not all users have received it which suggests some may be left surprised that the app has been killed off.
PiunkaWebreports that some people have received an alert warning them that the Messenger app will become unavailable after May 31.
"After May 31st, Messenger won't be available as an Apple Watch app, but you can still use Messenger notifications on your watch," the message reads.
NOT HAPPY @Apple @messenger #applewatch #wtf pic.twitter.com/B81aK6EUf3May 9, 2023
In a statement given to Reviewgeek, Facebook confirmed the move.
"People can still receive Messenger notifications on their Apple Watch when paired, but starting at the end of May they will no longer be able to respond from their watch," the statement reads. "But they can continue using Messenger on their iPhone, desktop, and the web.”
It isn't clear why Facebook has taken this decision, but it's an interesting one given the ongoing tension between Apple and Meta. As is so often the case it's Facebook users who suffer, whatever the reason. With so many instant messaging platforms available perhaps now is a good time to consider switching.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.