On Wednesday July 20th, Facebook announced that it officially had over 1 billion active users on their Messenger app each month. Recently, many people have begun to use Messenger in place of standard texting. Through the app, users are able to communicate with friends and family, plan events, play games, and even send money. In 2015, the app was averaging 800 million monthly users. This recent growth was due in part to a series of app upgrades, such as not needing to be registered with a Facebook account to use Messenger.
One of the major benefits of this app is that it can be accessed across multiple digital platforms, meaning that you can jump back into a conversation using different devices. When Facebook launched another round of features this spring, the user count rose to 900 million monthly users. Facebook recently announced that it is currently running a series of tests that will soon provide users with the option to have “secret” conversations, using end-to-end encryption. An update such as this would revolutionize the app, and undoubtedly continue to increase the user count once again.
Every month there are 1 billion messages sent via Messenger between people and businesses, 17 million photos shared, 380 million “stickers”, and a staggering 22 million gifs sent each and every day. With stats like these, and it’s ever growing user count, Messenger could soon attract brands and developers to the platform. Additionally, it will also become more attractive to those who are still using SMS, or other similar apps for communication.
In 2015, Messenger exceeded the notion of being just an app for chatting. The goal was to make traditional texting seem outdated and archaic, driving people to live their lives and interact with one another through the modernized app. Around the same time, video chatting was spreading rapidly through platforms such as Skype, Google Hangout, and FaceTime. So, Facebook launched the option to video chat as well, in an effort to keep up with competitors. They then added the option of friend-to-friend payments to the app, allowing users to send money directly within Messenger.
While many people are still getting used to the idea of chatbots, Facebook is staying focused on turning Messenger into a serious connection tool for the entire planet. They’re hoping to put an end to the use of SMS, which has been steadily declining over recent years.
Through these incremental advancements, Messenger has far surpassed it’s competitors. Messenger and WhatsApp currently dominate the chat app world, aside from SMS. For Facebook to eventually end the use of SMS, it would need to achieve complete ubiquity. If they don’t, having just one friend or family member without Messenger would cause someone to continue to use SMS options such as iMessage or the Android’s default messaging system.
Through Messenger, 1 billion people are currently capable of communicating with one another instantly, something that has never in the history of the world been possible. It’s safe to say that in the coming years, Facebook has the ability to continue to shape and evolve the way we communicate and interact with those around us.
Image via Flickr by iphonedigital