Facebook faced a lot of flak after it forced users to download Messenger a few months ago. Not only were people annoyed by the fact they now have to use a standalone app to chat to their friends, they were also freaked out by the perceived infringement on their privacy.
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This, however, doesn’t seem to phase the bulk of the social networking giant’s users anymore. At least not its half a billion monthly active users.
Facebook announced yesterday that 500 million people are using its instant messaging app each month, and that it’s more committed than ever to give people a faster and more expressive way to communicate.
In the report Facebook boasts Messenger to be the evolution of SMS technology:
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. 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.
With this milestone, Facebook has no reason to listen to users remaining skittish in using Messenger. The social network expressed its satisfaction with this recent success and said that “This is an exciting milestone but with a half billion people relying on Messenger to communicate and connect, it is also a reminder that there is so much left for us to do.”
In total, Facebook has a staggering 1.35 billion monthly active users since September 2014. Of those, 1.12 billion use their mobile devices.