Facebook Messenger Records 1 billion users

Facebook’s
efforts to push people to Messenger is working.

The
messaging app marked a new milestone Wednesday, announcing that it now counts
more than a billion monthly active users. That’s up from the 900 million it claimed in April. 

Facebook
is marking the occasion with a new balloon feature that will add animations to
messages when you use the balloon emoji. The feature is similar to the Mother’s
Day animation it temporarily added for the
holiday.

Facebook
also revealed a few new stats about how people are using the app. Its users
exchange more than 17 billion photos every month, according to the company, and
more than 22 million animated GIFs a day. Business communication on Messenger
is also up, with more than a billion messages between users and companies every
month. The app is also now home to more than 18,000 bots (that number stood at
a little over 11,000 earlier this month.)

Messenger
is the fourth Facebook-owned service to reach a billion users (Facebook Groups
and WhatsApp both count more than a billion users, as does the main Facebook
app.) And Instagram is more than halfway there as well. 

Messenger’s
milestone is particularly remarkable when you consider that it only had around
200 million users when it began forcing people to use the app in 2014. Since
then, the social network has added new features, including an app and bot
platform for developers, at nearly breakneck pace — all in an effort to reach
as many people as possible through the messaging app. It now appears that those
efforts have been largely successful, despite some vocal holdouts. 

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