Facebook: Half A Billion People Now Use Messenger


A few months after Facebook irked and confused its users by forcing them to download its Messenger feature as a separate app, Mark Zuckerberg has an impressive metric to tag onto the service: Messenger now has 500 million monthly active users.


That's not far behind WhatsApp, the global messaging phenomenon that Facebook bought in February for $19 billion, which has 600 million active users by its last count.


Both services do very little to make money for Facebook, other than the subscriptions that a minority of WhatsApp users pay to use the app. But the scuttlebutt is that the new head of Facebook Messenger, David Marcus, could add in some sort of money transfer or payments feature, given that Zuckerberg poached him earlier this year from his role as CEO of PayPal.


Facebook announced the new user numbers earlier today on its blog:


'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,' said Peter Martinazzi, Facebook's director of product management.


Facebook itself has 1.35 billion monthly active users as of September 30, 2014, but it wants to scale Messenger up to similarly vast numbers. Marcus told Wired today that, 'We're going for a billion.' Messenger's recent growth seems strong enough to get there eventually: active users have jumped 150% in a year, according to the report.


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