Standalone Facebook Messenger App Hits 500m Monthly Users

MessengerFacebook Messenger has hit 500m monthly users, after the standalone app recently became the only way to access the social networks messaging functionality.

For comparison, WhatsApp – the OTT messaging app Facebook acquired for $16bn  (£10bn) in February – announced in August that it had 600m active monthly users.

Messenger first launched in 2011, but probably the biggest boost in users came following Facebooks decision to remove messaging from its core app entirely, which began in Europe back in April. Its worth noting, though, that 500m is still less than half the overall number of active users Facebook sees on mobile each month, which stood at 1.12bn in September.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was quizzed about the decision during his first public Q&A yesterday.

“Asking everyone in our community to install a new app is a big ask,” he responded. “I appreciate that that was work and required friction. We wanted to do this because we believe that this is a better experience. Messaging is becoming increasingly important. On mobile, each app can only focus on doing one thing well, we think.

“Because Messenger is faster and more focused, if youre using it, you respond to messages faster, weve found.

“This is some of the hardest stuff we do, is making these choices. We realise that we have a lot to earn in terms of trust and proving that this standalone messenger experience will be really good. We have some of our most talented people working on this.”

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