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Facebook’s standalone messaging app Messenger has crossed 800 million active monthly users, inching closer to the Facebook-owned WhatsApp messenger’s 900 million active monthly users. Messenger was released as a standalone app for web in 2014. The company plans to make money through ads on Messenger but did not provide a timeline for the same.

Messenger developments:

– Readers would like to note that Facebook had launched a revamped version of its Messenger app, allowing users to sign up even without a Facebook account way back in 2012, a service it re-launched in June 2015 to allow users sign up with only a phone number.

– In June, Messenger introduced location sharing on Messenger, where users could send a map of their whereabouts, accessible from the ‘More’ icon.

– During its F8 conference in March, Facebook said that it would be opening up Messenger for business, allowing companies to chat with people during the checkout flow, send order updates etc. It also added that it would let developers develop apps for Messenger, starting with 40 new apps including Imgur, ESPN and Talking Tom.

– In the same month, it announced that it would allow peer-to-peer money transfers over the Messenger app in the US. In April, it added a dedicated chat interface for the web.

– In the same month, the company added a video calling feature in Messenger and at that time was limited to iOS and Android users in the US, UK, Mexico, Oman, Laos, Uruguay and some other European countries, but rolled out internationally eventually.

– In August, Facebook announced the testing of a new personal assistant service called M, powered by artificial intelligence and supervised by humans. The company claimed the assistant would be able to purchase items, get gifts delivered, book restaurants and travel arrangements, set appointments etc.

– In November, Facebook launched an Android messenger app called Work Chat to allow co-workers to message individually and in group chats, share pictures, videos, stickers and make voice calls. Facebook at Work had been in private testing since January 2015 and allowed employers to create separate log-ins for staff.

– In December, the company allowed its users to get a Uber cab from Messenger itself. At the time, the service was available only to 10,000 users in the San Francisco Bay area, with plans of rolling out to other users.

– Facebook had also added voice calling feature on its Android Messenger for users in India in March 2014, a year after it was launched in the US on both Android and iOS. Messenger was previously colloquially called Facebook chat and was within the social network.

India leads Facebook’s daily active users: In its Q3 2015 earnings call, the company said that India was leading the daily active user (DAU) growth globally along with the US and Brazil. At the end of Q3, Facebook’s DAUs stood at 1.007 billion, out of which 300 million came from the Asia Pacific region, and mobile DAUs stood at 894 million. Mark Zuckerberg mentioned that over 50 million people were using Facebook Lite.

Instagram: As of November, the 5 year old company claims to have 400 million monthly active users, out of which 75% are outside the US. Its users have shared more than 40 billion photos and generate 3.5 billion likes daily. It also claims that its users upload 80 million photos every day.

Image Credit: Janitors under CC BY 2.0