Facebook has just announced its Messenger app has gone past 500 million monthly users base since its launch in 2011.
“Messenger was the first of our standalone apps, and unlike our core Facebook apps, it focused on one use case – messaging. With Messenger, you can reach people instantly. It is just as fast as SMS but gives you the ability to express yourself in ways that SMS can’t,” says Peter Martinazzi, Director of Product Management, Facebook in a blog post.
“You can send stickers or videos, take selfies, chat with groups and make free calls. We’ve also continued to improve speed and reliability. Updates to Messenger ship every two weeks so it continues to evolve and improve.”
Facebook's milestone may be overwhelming but it is worth pointing out the company had made it mandatory for users to download the Messenger app for chat with Facebook contacts on their mobiles.
While addressing a public Q&A session, CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained: “Even though it was a short-term, painful thing to ask folks to install a separate messaging app, we knew we could never deliver the quality or experience inside as just a tab in the main Facebook app… we needed to build a dedicated and focused experience.”
Facebook earlier this year took over the popular messaging app Whatsapp in a bid to focus on mobile platforms. Prior to the acquisition, it was observed the social networking giant was facing stiff competition from instant messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Viber.
After WhatsApp takeover, the social networking giant has continued to focus on the mobile platform. It recently launched a Snapchat rival app, called Slingshot.