Facebook now has another app with more than half a billion users.

Facebook announced Monday that its Messenger app has 500 million monthly active users. The company had said there were more than 200 million active users during an earnings call in April.

“This is an exciting milestone but with a half billion people relying on Messenger to communicate and connect, it is also a reminder that there is so much left for us to do,” Peter Martinazzi, director of product management at Facebook, wrote in a blog post.

By comparison, Facebook proper has more than one billion active users on mobile. WhatsApp, which Facebook acquired this year, has more than 600 million users, and Instagram has more than 200 million.

In August, Facebook began forcing users to download Messenger in order to continue chatting with friends through Facebook.

That move helped Facebook Messenger become the most popular free app on iOS, though it had a one-star rating for some time as users complained that they were forced to download the app.

The decision to push users to the standalone messaging app was part of Facebook’s broader strategy to broaden its portfolio of applications and innovate the experience of each, rather than focus solely on the default Facebook application… see more

source: mashable