Facebook Messenger uses a lot of internet data, which might annoy most of its users. The problem won’t last much longer though, as the company has decided to make future versions of the app less data hungry – thanks to a new Data Saver feature, Android Police reports.

Facebook Messenger
Facebook Messenger app by Janitors, Flickr

Changing how the app works

Presently Facebook is testing the new Data Saver feature on the Android beta version of the app. This will change how the app downloads any media content the user receives, such as photographs and videos.

When Data Saver mode is not active, Messenger automatically downloads anything the user receives without any regards to the size of the content or whether the user is interested in even seeing it or not. Now keeping the new feature on will allow users to choose the photographs and videos they wish to view. This feature does not affect ordinary text messages, notes The Next Web.

A counter showing users the actual amount of data they used accompanies this beta. As the need arises, users will also be able to reset it, a significant help on a rolling monthly data plan. Data Saver works only when the device is using cellular data, and on connecting to a Wi-Fi hotspot, the Messenger app reverts to normal, notes The Next Web.

Facebook making apps less data hungry

Facebook has made a series of moves to ensure that users in markets where cellular bandwidth is still a precious commodity do not end up spending a lot on their data bills because of its apps, including Messenger. The company made two attempts in the past to conserve data usage, according to Phone Arena. The first was the launch of Facebook Lite last year, and just a few weeks ago, it even launched a new data-slim app named Facebook Messenger Lite.

The fact that the feature is still in beta testing means it won’t be rolled out to all users. The beta program offers Data Saver for the Messenger Android app (version only through an APK Mirror and on the Google Play Store, notes IB Times. The company has not said when it will actually release the feature, but it is expected to make a software update soon.

So quite soon we might get to see Data Saver in the mainstream branch of Facebook Messenger. Users eager to start using the feature can sign up for the beta through the Google Play store. The option is located within the Messenger app’s settings.