Facebook Reaches One Billion Messenger Users

July 21, 2016
By: Alicia Young

Many of us who have been on Facebook (News - Alert) for several years remember the glory days before the social media platform turned into the gargantuan beast that it is today. Remember when statuses had to start with “is,” and fewer people shared long paragraphs about their personal woes? Those were the good days. Today, Facebook showed off how popular and huge it’s become by celebrating the fact that Facebook Messenger just hit one billion users.

If you were a Facebook user before 2014, you likely remember that private messaging used to be part of the original app. You could just click on the app, browse your newsfeed, and easily switch to the messenger inbox as needed. Quick, easy, with no app switching involved. However, in April 2014 Facebook decided to get rid of the in-app messaging function and create a separate app: Facebook Messenger.

The platform’s reasoning for this decision was that it would make it easier for people to message in a separate app. Realistically, the platform was feeling pressured by the invention of other apps, which could potentially steal the title of “most beloved social media app.”This was around the time of Snapchat, which enabled much more personal messaging amongst friends, without the annoyingly long statuses of people from high school bogging up newsfeeds. So, Facebook took a stand and created an app that allowed for personal messaging.

Still, for months many users ignored the release of this new app, thinking that it would be annoying to constantly switch between apps. Unfortunately, Facebook eventually made is impossible to view your messages without downloading the app, and all users were forced to download it.

So, while Facebook may feel accomplished that it has one billion users on Messenger, it would be a bit more impressive if they hadn’t forced everyone into downloading the app.