Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg proclaimed during a question and answer session that messaging has become a major portion of the social networking block, and that the additional app, which raised concerns from many Facebook users, was a necessary piece of the puzzle to continue delivering the best user experience.
He cited that creating an app that was 100% focused on messaging was something that the company had long-aspired to do before they actually executed it with the standalone Messenger app that received mixed reviews. While, in physical application, the app does well, the company saw a lot of friction from users that were not happy with the need to download a new app that they felt was unnecessary.
However, the social network giant announced on Monday that since the app launched in 2011, there are now 500 million monthly, active users. This being a milestone that the company has worked hard to achieve in the last year. Facebook said that the goal was to create an experience that was 100% focused, and could deliver the best results to the user – and this is evidence that their plan is working to perfection.
Many thought that Messenger would draw too many similarities to traditional text messaging, and SMS apps, but Messenger allows users to send stickers, videos, and even take selfies, and makes group chat seamlessly, but the app proved to be worthy of the standalone name. Additionally, the app is making regular 2-week updates that ensure that the app will continue to evolve and change around the user experience.
Peter Martinazzi, Director of Product Management, Facebook said, “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.”
Back in April Facebook had released numbers that showed the company had 200 million monthly users for the standalone messenger app, and the most recent update shows just how much improvement really has been seen in the last several months. However, many see this as the evolution of the product. Users are becoming more, and more comfortable with the standalone features and now that Facebook is not stuck in that shadow they have had the opportunity to continue growing their user base.