Facebook has announced that it has achieved 1.2 billion monthly active users on its Messenger platform, a 200 million user rise in just 8 months. This milestone was announced by head of Messenger David Marcus, who also confirmed that messages sent per active user has also been on a massive rise, and they have also managed to achieve 'double digit growth percentage-wise'.
This puts Messenger head to head with WhatsApp which also enjoys 1.2 billion monthly active users - with 200 million of them just from India. Furthermore, Marcus told TechCrunch that Messenger "increased engagement massively in terms of number of messages sent per active user. We had double-digit growth percentage-wise." Furthermore, the report states that Sensor Tower's numbers indicate that global Android and iOS downloads of Facebook Messenger grew 5.66 percent year on year from 145.3 million in first quarter of 2016 to 153.5M in first quarter of 2017.
Ever since Messenger separated from Facebook, it has been evolving a lot with the addition of chat bots, payments, and even video calls. Recently, Facebook also introduced a Snapchat-like feature called Messenger Day. Facebook itself enjoys much higher engagement at 1.9 billion monthly active users, while Instagram is still growing with 600 million users.
Most recently, Facebook Messenger is also pushing SMS on its platform. It also launched its digital assistant named "M" for US users, ramping up the social network's efforts in artificial intelligence. For users of the messaging platform, M will pop up and suggest "helpful actions" in the chat window. This is seen as the first step in a broader launch of the digital assistant to compete against services from Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple and Samsung, which is launching its new assistant with its newest smartphone.