Meta announced on Thursday that its Facebook Messenger Apple Watch app will be discontinued. While Messenger users will still be able to receive Messenger messages on their wrists, they will no longer be able to reply to messages on the service from their wrists.
Posts shared on social media carried a screenshot of a notification sent to a handful of users in recent days informing them that Messenger won’t be available as an Apple Watch app after May 31, but that users would continue to get Messenger notifications on their watch.
NOT HAPPY @Apple @messenger #applewatch #wtf pic.twitter.com/B81aK6EUf3
— Amanda Nova (@M_anda_M) May 9, 2023
A Meta spokesperson gave the following statement:
“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. But they can continue using Messenger on their iPhone, desktop and the web.”
Meta did not give a reason for its decision to drop support for its Messenger app for Apple Watch, which debuted in 2015. The app allowed users to send voice clips, likes, stickers, and more without having to open the app on their iPhones.
The Messenger app joins a growing line of other third-party services and developers that have pulled their Apple Watch apps over the last few years. Other notable Apple Watch apps that have been pulled include those from Twitter, Instagram, Target, Trello, Slack, Hulu, and Uber.
While Apple originally promoted the Apple Watch as a great way to access apps without needing to take your iPhone out of your pocket, the company’s focus has shifted to fitness and health features as the primary functionality.
Recent rumors suggest Apple intends to make interactive widgets a big part of its watchOS 10 redesign.
Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman says he believes that the move is an admission that an iPhone-like app experience “doesn’t always make sense on a watch” since “Apple Watch apps have barely caught on.”