In a bid to be more candid about numbers, Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday shared the news that its instant messaging app, Messenger, is used by more than 200 million active users every month. Zuckerberg made the announcement during the company's first-quarter earnings call.
According to Facebook, the monthly audience of Messenger is now on par with Instagram's recently announced 200 million active users. Zuckerberg in the earnings call also reiterated the company had passed 1 billion monthly active mobile users.
To put this in perspective, WhatsApp, the cross-platform instant messaging service Facebook is paying $19 billion for, recently announced it has an active user base of more than 500 million active users. Of the 500 million, the country with the highest active WhatsApp user base was India, with 48 million.
Further placing Facebook's active user numbers for Messenger in perspective, Line last month announced it had 400 million registered users (Line does not provide active user numbers), WeChat last month announced it had 355 million monthly active users, while Viber (which recently got acquired by Rakuten) in February said it had 105 million monthly active users.
Earlier this month, Facebook announced it would be removing the chat/ instant messaging functionality from its standalone Facebook app, forcing users to utilise the Messenger app if they wanted to chat with Facebook contacts on their mobiles. The move, while limiting the Facebook app, would also increase the number of users of its Messenger app.
The Facebook CEO said the company is focused on developing new apps to help users share different content in different ways. Zuckerberg added that Messenger and WhatsApp apps are growing quickly and independently because of their different offerings in the private content sharing department. He asked people to expect more from Facebook in the area of private content sharing in the near future.
"At the intersection of each type of content and each audience, we think there's a really compelling experience to be built," Zuckerberg explained to analysts on the call. "Facebook historically has focused on friends and public content. Now with Messenger and WhatsApp, we're taking a couple of different approaches to more private content as well."
Relevantly, in the first quarter of this fiscal year, thanks to belligerent mobile sales which grew to 59 percent of the advertising revenue, Facebook posted one of its strongest revenue results in years.
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