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article imageFacebook Messenger reaches another incredible milestone

By James Walker     Apr 13, 2017 in Internet
Facebook Messenger is now used by over 1.2 billion people every month, making it one of the most successful apps ever created. Messenger is now twice as popular as Instagram, another Facebook property, having overcome initial scepticism at its launch.
When Facebook unveiled Messenger as a standalone app, many users were reluctant to install an additional product just to send messages on Facebook. In the years since, the company has evolved Messenger into its own platform, steadily convincing people to give it a try and decoupling it from its main social network altogether.
The Messenger of today sports a dizzying array of features designed to prevent you ever having to leave the app. You can transfer money, access a digital assistant, post status updates to your friends, make voice and video calls and communicate with chatbots, all within Messenger's core chat thread interface.
Messenger is now used by over 15 percent of the world's population. It has grown significantly in just the past nine months. The app reached the one billion users mark last July. It's now a similar size to WhatsApp, another Facebook property that also boasts around 1.2 billion monthly users. Together, the company's successes indicate how it has mastered running social media at scale.
"We now have over 1.2 billion people actively using Messenger every month," Facebook's David Marcus said in a post on the social network. "I keep on hearing powerful stories about how our product is becoming a more important part of your daily lives. So from all of us here at Messenger, a heartfelt thank you to all of you for giving us a chance to build something good and more meaningful for you."
Although it's the primary Messenger app that gets the most attention, Facebook noted that Messenger Lite has driven much of the growth increase in the past year. Launched last October, Messenger Lite is a scaled-down, back-to-basics version of the app that cuts out the bloated features. The result is a highly optimised and far less demanding app that works reliably on limited data connections and older phones.
This has enabled Messenger to reach new users in remote and developing regions who couldn't previously access the app. By launching Messenger Lite, Facebook has been able to temporarily extend Messenger's overall growth, avoiding stagnation by adding 200 million new people to the 1 billion already using the full version. The company will now find it increasingly difficult to keep expanding Messenger though as it runs out of users to pitch the app to.
According to Marcus, Facebook is now looking at strengthening Messenger's appeal to its existing audiences. The recent launch of Messenger Day – a Snapchat clone within Messenger – is meant to solidify the app's standing with teenagers, a mission the feature has succeeded in.
Similarly, Messenger's new camera and group video features are meant to capitalise on growing tech trends to ensure the app stays relevant. It shows no signs of fading away just yet but Facebook is staying vigilant and aware of the actions of its rivals.
Facebook announced Messenger's latest milestone one week before its upcoming F8 developers conference. During the event, Facebook is expected to launch further improvements to the platform focused on chatbots, digital assistance and communication with businesses, further extending the app's capabilities.
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