Facebook Messenger reaches 1 billion users and begins to refocus

After a tumultuous start, Facebook Messenger has finally reached 1 billion active users.

Some might find this hard to believe, as the news that Facebook users would have no choice but to download the app back in 2014 wasn’t received well. Since then however, users seem to have come around. After moving the messaging function into a separate app, Facebook now has the opportunity to pack it with even more features.

TechCrunch reports that the app has gathered the following stats in addition to its impressive user count. On a monthly basis, 17 billion photos and 1 billion messages pass through the app. Each day, 380 million stickers and 22 million GIFs also pass through the platform.

Following Facebook’s recent announcement to position Messenger as a portal for company bots, Messenger now has 18 thousand bots on the platform and 23 thousand developers signed up for the aFacebook’s Wit.ai Bot Engine.

Partially thanks to Facebook’s insistence that its users download the app, Messenger is now the second most popular iOS app of all time – behind Facebook.

“As part of this journey to one billion, we focused on creating the best possible experiences in modern day communications. We remain focused on helping connect people to the people and businesses who matter most. Thank you to everyone who uses Messenger around the world, and we’re looking forward to connecting the next billion,” said the Vice President of Messenger David Marcus in a statement. 

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Since the company realized they could be used as a customer service initiative, Messenger has become riddled with bots of all kinds. Earlier this year, Facebook has begun promoting bots as the next phase of customer service, and Messenger as a new and improved tool for business.

The social media giant announced the milestone in a post on Messenger’s official Facebook page on Wednesday.

“People use Messenger to connect with the people and businesses they care most about. They make plans, share dreams, send payments, tell jokes, play games, let their loved ones know they’re thinking of them and much, much more. We know that every message is important to you – no matter what you want to say – and we’re grateful that you choose to communicate using Messenger,” said the Messenger team in the post.

Furthermore, the team announced their floating billion balloons to celebrate. Simply send a balloon emoji in Messenger and watch as balloons fill the chat.

Related reading: Facebook adds 3D Touch functionality to Messenger on iOS