Facebook's Messenger mobile app continues to attract more users. During the social media giant's yearly shareholders meeting, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, said that Messenger has now grown to 700 million monthly users (the number of people who send a message via Facebook Messenger at least once a month).
700 million monthly users is certainly impressive, and it is even more remarkable when you consider that it was just last March that Messenger reached 600 million monthly users. This means that in a span of just three months, the app managed to gain 100 million more monthly users. In November of last year, the app had breached the 500 million mark.
And that is not all. WhatsApp, considered the most widely used messaging app in the world which Facebook bought in February earlier this year for a mighty sum of $22 billion, now has 800 million monthly active users. At the time of Facebook's acquisition of WhatsApp, the app already had 400 million monthly active users, but that number since doubled after four months.
Combining the two, Zuckerberg's social messaging empire now has a total of 1.5 billion monthly users. The Facebook CEO did not reveal though just how many of these users overlap.
A lot of people think that because of their popularity, Facebook's messaging apps are the only ones lording over the competition. Messenger and WhatsApp actually face tough competition from Chinese messaging platform WeChat, which announced last March of this year that they already have 500 million monthly active users. Kik, yet another messaging app, also has 200 million users to boast.
Competition notwithstanding, the growing popularity of messaging apps only highlights the shifting preference of today's users when it comes to sending messages. Years ago, people usually took to their mobile phones and send each other messages through text via wireless carriers. But with the emergence of messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp in the last few years, people now send messages via apps installed in their mobile devices.
And the great thing about today's messaging apps is that they provide a lot of flexibility. Text messaging mostly only allows users to send text-based messages, and maybe even images. With Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, people can send videos, audio files, emojis, documents, and even cash, aside from just text-based messages.
Facebook must have seen the immense potential of messaging platforms. The social media giant is on a mission to explore more ways in which its users will never have to leave Facebook's pages, and messaging plays a major role in realizing that. After all, what is more social than direct messaging itself?
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