Facebook Messenger gets a major under-the-hood update as a part of ‘Project Lightspeed’

Facebook, days after pulling the plug of its main app from the Microsoft Store, has given a major revamp to its standalone Messenger app for iOS users. The engineering team claims the app to be faster, smaller and simpler than before because of the rebuilt architecture and the rewriting of the entire codebase. The new version of Facebook Messenger is claimed to be one-fourth the size of its older version while being twice as fast. A part of it is also achieved by using native OS and reusing UI powered by SQLite.

This overhauling of the FB Messenger app comes as a part of Facebook’s Project Lightspeed that was introduced last year during the F8 developer’s conference. “While it was started by a handful of engineers, Project LightSpeed ultimately required more than 100 engineers to complete and deliver the final product,” said Facebook engineers in the blog post. “In the end, we reduced core Messenger code by 84 percent, from more than 1.7M lines to 360,000.”

However, the team made it clear that most of the changes made here behind the scenes and users won’t see much differences cosmetic-wise. However, it may feel faster when it comes to loading screens, chats and in-chat contents like images, videos, stickers and more.

Interestingly, the team said that revamping the app “laid the foundation for cross-app messaging across our entire family of apps.” For those unaware, Facebook not just owns Messenger but also WhatsApp and Instagram, both of which are widely used social media apps. Although nothing was mentioned in detail about security and privacy, the team did reveal that the revamp “has also built the foundation we’ll need for a privacy-centered messaging experience.”

It also looks like not all the Messenger features will be there initially, as per the team. However, it will be made available in future. “We accomplished this by rebuilding our features to fit a simplified architecture and design. While we kept most of the features, we will continue to introduce more features over time,” the team said.

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