Facebook Messenger has reached a new milestone as the service now claims 800 million monthly users, according to an announcement from Facebook itself on Thursday. “I’m happy to report that we’ve made a good step in that direction, and toward the end of 2015, we crossed the milestone of 800 million people using Messenger each month,” according to David Marcus, Facebook’s Vice President of Messaging Products.
The new milestone, according to latest Nielsen data, makes Messenger the fastest growing app of 2015.
Some of the features Messenger has gained in 2015:
- Video calling
- The ability to customize conversations with colors, nicknames and emojis
- Businesses on Messenger
- Sending and receiving money from conversations
- Messenger Platform for expression apps
- Message Requests for messages from people not on your list
- Easier photo sharing with the Photo Magic feature.
- M, a digital virtual assistant which is currently in testing
- Transportation platform with Uber integration
To illustrate these achievements, Facebook posted the following infographic.
With the ability to make video and voice calls and send text messages, stickers, photos, videos, voice clips, GIFs, locations and money to people, it’s clear that Messenger has become a platform in and of itself.
“It is so much easier to do everything in one place that has the context of your last interactions, as well as your identity—no need to ever login—rather than downloading apps that you’ll never use again and jumping around from one app to another,” the company wrote.
Apple’s iMessage service has many of Messenger’s features and it benefits from tight ecosystem integration, but Facebook’s advantage lies in the sheer number of its user base and the fact that it’s a cross-platform service.
It will be interesting seeing how Apple responds to the growing threat from Messenger and other popular messaging platforms. We may get our first look at some of the new features in tow for iOS 10’s Messages at WWDC 2016.