Facebook Messenger users may not be surprised to hear the news that over one billion Android users have downloaded the secondary app. Yes, that’s billion with a B. Reports indicate that the Facebook Messenger app is one of a select few to have surpassed the billion downloads mark, ranking among other elite services such as WhatsApp, Gmail, Youtube, and of course, the primary Facebook app. Android device users were originally skeptical of Facebook Inc. splitting the two services the social media mongrel provides into separate apps, but the effective has clearly proven to pay off.
Ronald Chavez from the news site Mashable reports, “With Messenger as a standalone app, Facebook has pushed to broaden its scope. You can now send payments, video chat and huge, brightly colored stickers to friends. Upcoming features, such as customer service chat and more third-party app integration, means Facebook is continually looking for ways to keep people more engaged on the platform.” The Facebook team also divided the two factions of their service with Apple’s iOS but the number of downloads are not immediately available, though they can be assuredly just as astonishingly high as Android.
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One thing to particularly note is that while the number of downloads have surpassed one billion, that does not show any indication of the number of literal users to the program. Considering that users will occasionally delete an app to make room for incoming data, photos, etc., and then re-download the app at another time, it’s fair to say one billion Android users are not currently using the app. Jon Fortt of CNBC reported last March that 600 million users are currently active on their Facebook Messenger app. That number is notably not distinctly telling of how many are iPhone users, and how many are Android users. 600 million users, divided among the competing operating systems, is all we know at this time. What’s fascinating about this entire study isn’t that Facebook Messenger is being so actively used but what this may mean for text messaging or other methods of digital communication. If users become entirely too dependent on the Messenger app, then they’re less likely to ever leave Facebook for another social media site. But the problems may outweigh the benefits.
With the Messenger app, users can send payments directly to their friends, for instance. They can also send unique stickers, rather than the traditional, getting-old emoticons and even access links and pictures with great ease.
In the end, the Messenger app’s future looks bright. And who knows what’s next, for this rapidly growing company’s favorite source of communication?