This week Facebook has announced that its Facebook Messenger application and service enjoy 800 million monthly users and head of Messenger David Marcus has revealed the companies strategy and predictions for 2016.
The new figure of 800 million users for Facebook Messenger follows on from previous announcements, from November 2014 when the service had 500 million users, and in March when it rose to 600 million and then June with 700 million users.
These figure make the Facebook Messenger application the fastest growing of 2015 according to statistics from Nielsen and was the second most popular iOS application behind Facebook. Other interesting statistics reveal that the service is transmitting 10 billion photographs every month. Marcus explains a little more :
The Messenger team’s mission is to make Messenger the best place to communicate with all the people and businesses in the world. I’m happy to report that we’ve made a good step in that direction, and towards the end of 2015, we crossed the milestone of 800 million people using Messenger each month. It’s a good number, but we believe we have so much more opportunity ahead of us, and these are still the early days of Messenger.
I thought I’d take this opportunity to share a few themes for Messenger in 2016:
The disappearance of the phone number
First let’s set some context. Think about it… SMS and texting came to the fore in the time of flip phones. Now, many of us can do so much more on our phones; we went from just making phone calls and sending basic text-only messages to having computers in our pockets. And just like the flip phone is disappearing, old communication styles are disappearing too. With Messenger, we offer all the things that made texting so popular, but also so much more. Yes, you can send text messages, but you can also send stickers, photos, videos, voice clips, GIFs, your location, and money to people. You can make video and voice calls while at the same time not needing to know someone’s phone number. You don’t need to have a Facebook account to use Messenger anymore, and it’s also a cross platform experience – so you can pick up where you left off whether you’re on a desktop computer, a tablet, or your phone.
Threads are the new apps
We’re seeing a paradigm shift in how people engage. At Messenger we’re thinking about how we can help you interact with businesses or services to buy items, order rides, purchase airline tickets, and talk to customer service in truly frictionless and delightful ways. It is so much easier to do everything in one place that has the context of your last interactions, as well as your identity (no need to ever login), rather than downloading apps that you’ll never use again and jumping around from one app to another. Our early tests in 2015 with brands are showing that interactions will happen more and more in your Messenger threads, so we’ll continue making it easy for you to engage with businesses, and we’ll also do more to enable additional businesses and services to build the right experience in conversations.
We’re all social beings
We love to share, chat, debate, discuss, and inform, most often with those closest to us. Messenger now gives you many tools to help you personalize your conversations no matter who you are talking to – your dorm corridor, your co-workers, your mom. We’re looking at ways for you to build your own space to communicate just the way you want to in your own style and tone – think of it like your very own social handshake. And one-to-one messages aren’t the only option. Groups on Messenger are the very best way to coordinate with friends, family, coworkers and others to make plans or even just to make sure you don’t miss anything when you can’t all be together in person.
You can expect us to keep trying new things, too. Our test of M, our digital virtual assistant, powered by human-trained AI, is going well. It’s still very, very early days, but the growing AI capabilities are bringing unparalleled convenience to simple, every day tasks like booking a restaurant, sending flowers, and making plans. There will be more innovative developments to come from Messenger this year.
It’s all about delight
It’s really important that we build products that solve real problems for people. We want all of our experiences to be delightful and helpful, and to make your life easier, but we also want to empower you to put a smile on the faces of those people who matter the most in your life.