Facebook Messenger, the social network’s flagship messaging platform (even after that $19 Billion WhatsApp acquisition) has reached a new milestone at the dawn of New Year. The Messenger app has now surpassed 800 million users according to Facebook.

And to support the aggressive growth pace stats from Facebook, research film Nielsen stated that Messenger’s impressive growth is the fastest among any application for the year 2015.

Now, Messenger stands second only to WhatsApp, as the most popular app. While you can’t really have competition between the two, considering they are owned by the same parent company, one still can’t resist from comparing any messaging app from WhatsApp.

The active user base for WhatsApp is over 900 million, but that was over four months ago. One can thus safely expect that the messaging app may have come very close, or even crossed the Billion users mark. And while those numbers are a still some distance away for Messenger, it has surpassed other popular messaging apps such as Snapchat and Viber. Its user base has been on a continual rise ever since it was made into a standalone app by Facebook. Its user base stood at 500 million as of March, 2015.

What could have also fuelled the growth, is the fact that Messenger supports both text and video calling, the latter of which is absent from WhatsApp, but is speculated to be introduced soon. Facebook is focusing on changing the mind-set of users who perceive Messenger only for chatting with their Facebook friends — pretty much promoting its “Messenger as a platform approach”. In this endeavour, it has allowed users to sign up without a Facebook account too. More recently, the messaging app even allowed users to make payments on the platform.

The social networking giant also hinted at incorporating its revenue model for Messenger by selling ads on the app. The move is still under wraps, and might be incorporated sooner than later. Messenger is also getting featured on other applications, the recent one being Uber app. The two companies had struck a deal that allowed users to fetch a cab through Messenger.

This, of course was accomplished by incorporating chat bots, something Facebook might use to expand Messenger into other applications. For that, Facebook relied on developers to build chat bots through a developmental kit offered by the company.



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