September 19, 2017
Messenger Day, Facebook’s version of Snapchat Stories that launched six months ago, may not be experiencing the same growth as similar offerings from Instagram or WhatApp, but it now touts 70 million daily users. Messenger Day enables users to share photos and video slideshows. While its latest daily usage is significant, it only took Instagram Stories two months to reach 100 million users, and two weeks less for WhatsApp Status to attract 175 million (both have since surpassed the 250 million daily user mark).
“Meanwhile, Facebook Messenger as a whole continues its ascent, entrenching itself as the top cross-OS messaging app in the West,” reports TechCrunch. “Messenger now has 1.3 billion monthly users, up from 1.2 billion in April and 1 billion in July 2016. That’s the same count as Facebook’s other chat product, WhatsApp.”
While Messenger’s growth rate has slowed in recent years, possibly suggesting it has reached saturation in some markets, it still leads the field. Its non-Facebook competitors include WeChat, QQ, Snapchat and Apple’s iMessage (which now features animations, an app platform and AR-powered Animoji in the new iOS 11).
“Messenger Day launched in March to heavy criticism,” notes TechCrunch, “with some saying the broadcast social media feature doesn’t fit in the chat utility and stole screen space from the message threads.”
“Some Facebook lovers may have shifted usage to Instagram’s messaging feature Direct,” which has grown “to 375 million monthly users, and now offers both permanent and ephemeral messaging.”
Also, Facebook’s Messenger bots with group chat capabilities have failed to gain traction. “And Facebook hasn’t added any new voice features to Messenger despite that rabid adoration for products like Amazon Alexa and Google Home.”
Meanwhile, Facebook’s decision to add six-way split-screen group video chat functionality (similar to the app Houseparty) to Messenger’s video chat has proven quite popular, hitting 245 million monthly users by the end of 2016. Messenger is now directly integrating Bonfire (its version of Houseparty) so “Messenger’s 1.3 billion users can instantly jump into the group video chats without downloading a separate app,” explains TechCrunch.
According to Android Headlines, “the social media giant has begun publicly testing the app by releasing it through the Danish App Store, signaling a possible future release on Android.”