Facebook Messenger App crosses 500 million monthly user milestone

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Facebook on Monday revealed its standalone Messenger mobile app has crossed 500 million monthly user milestone.

Initially the messenger service was introduced as a chat feature on the social networking website but later on it was rolled out as a standalone mobile app that allowed users to send stickers, videos, make free calls and chat with groups.The Messenger had 200 million monthly active users in April earlier this year.

“Today more than 500 million people are using Messenger each month and we’re more committed than ever to make it the best possible messaging experience,” Facebook Director of Product Management Peter Martinazzi said in a blog post.

“Messaging is an important part of how people stay connected and since Messenger launch in 2011, we’ve been passionate about giving people a faster and more expressive way to communicate.”

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It was in late July that the social network had dropped chat from the main Facebook app and made it mandatory for users to download the standalone Facebook Messenger application.

“Messenger was the first of our standalone apps, and unlike our core Facebook apps, it focused on one use case – messaging. It is just as fast as SMS but gives you the ability to express yourself in ways that SMS can’t,” Martinazzi added.

The news follows Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s recent Q&A session in which he revealed why the company removed the core messaging functionality from the main Facebook app, forcing users to opt for a separate Messenger instead.

Providing justification for the same,the 30 year old billionaire said although everyone was not quite thrilled with the change, Facebook thought Messenger would provide a better, faster messaging experience if it split it off from its own app.

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“Asking everyone in our community to install another app is a big ask. But Facebook thought it could provide a better, faster messaging product if it split off from its own app.

“We really believe this is a better experience,” Zuckerberg said.

Martnazzi noted that the company will continue to work on to improve Messenger’s speed and reliability and ship updates to Messenger once every two weeks.

Facebook claims it currently has 1.12 billion mobile active users and 1.35 billion monthly active users in total with 864 million daily active users.