Facebook Messenger now has more than 1.3 billion people around the world and Messenger Day has reached 70 million daily users that post and view photos and video slideshows in just six months of the launch.
The has 1.3 billion monthly users on Facebook are up from 1.2 billion in April and 1 billion in July 2016.
In comparison to Messenger, Facebook’s other properties -- Instagram Stories reached 100 million users in two months, and WhatsApp Status garnered 175 million users in almost 75 days. Both these platforms now have 250 million daily users each while rival Snapchat has 173 million daily active users for its whole app.
Messenger’s other close competitors that are not Facebook-owned include China’s WeChat with 938 million monthly users as of May and Snapchat with 173 million daily users as of second quarter of 2017 (though not all use it for messaging). Apple’s iMessage has also mutated itself from a lifeless SMS service to a dynamic app that now include animations, a whole new set of emojis and in the upcoming iOS 11, the app will bring with it Animoji – that mirror facial expressions using augmented reality.
After the indolent launch in 2016, Messenger brought up augmented bots with group chat capabilities, and also built a bot discovery section into Messenger. Still, was not able to win the hearts.
On the other hand, Messenger’s video chat grabbed 245 million monthly users as of December when Messenger added six-way split-screen group video chat similar to Houseparty app.
Messenger has now finally started to generate revenue for Facebook. In July, Facebook said it is expanding its beta test of home screen Messenger ads globally to increase revenue growth.
Messenger product lead Stan Chudnovsky said that the testing of home screen ads started in January in Australia and Thailand and will bring us closer to our true business model – advertising.
The home screen ads will follow an auction-based model and will utilise similar sort of user-targeting capabilities that are found on Instagram or Facebook.
If Messenger wants to keep growing, it should continue copycatting the popular features of its direct competitors like Snapchat while innovating at the same time owing to its natural advantages through its links to Facebook.