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Facebook’s new Messenger service reaches 500 million users

By piranha

11th November 2014

Since its launch in 2011, Facebook Messenger has drawn in over 500 million users across the globe. This places it as one of the most popular apps in the entire world, falling just behind the likes of Twitter, Youtube and Google Maps.

Facebook made changes to their messaging service in April which resulted in users being prompted to download the app in order to continue using it. This is undoubtedly linked to the dramatic increase in users, with the total number more than doubling during this 7 month period.

The app has received a lot of criticism from its users as they don’t feel comfortable having to navigate away from the main Facebook page to visit the messenger service. It has also raised issue with privacy as downloading this app gives permission for the software to access contacts, texts and other personal information.

Jack Kent, a senior mobile analyst at IHS Technology Consultancy, has said that, “Facebook’s key strategy is keeping people engaged within its world – whether it’s the Messenger app or the core Facebook app.’

‘It probably wouldn’t want to go down the road of having a huge variety of separate apps, but if there is a clear and distinct difference in functionality, then having a standalone app does make sense.”

Even the site’s Founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has admitted that forcing users into downloading the software was “a short term painful thing”, although he has promised that it will improve the speeds for its users.

It seems that this isn’t the only change that Facebook is going to make in the near future, with their growth of business showing no sign of slowing down. They have recently bought ownership of the popular Whatsapp, which has over 600 million users per month.

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