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Facebook Messenger now has 500 million users

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Facebook on Tuesday announced that its Messenger app is now being sed by at least 500 million people every month. The app, launched in 2011, had shot into the new recently when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted “forcing” users to download the new app, instead of messaging withing the Facebook app.

A post by Peter Martinazzi, Director of Product Management, said Facebook was “more committed than ever to make it the best possible messaging experience”.

“Messenger was the first of our standalone apps, and unlike our core Facebook apps, it focused on one use case – messaging. With Messenger, you can reach people instantly. It is just as fast as SMS but gives you the ability to express yourself in ways that SMS can’t.”

Facebook said it continued to improve speed and reliability and updates to Messenger ship every two weeks.

In an informal Q&A session last week, Zuckerberg had said “asking folks to install another app is a short term painful thing, but if we wanted to focus on serving this [use case] well, we had to build a dedicated and focused experience.” He said the primary purpose of the Facebook app was News Feed, but messaging was this behavior people were doing more and more.

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