Facebook Messenger became a standalone app last year. Users were forced to use the additional app to message other Facebook users. Now, Facebook Messenger is the second-most popular mobile app in the United States.
In a new report from the analytics company comScore, Facebook Messenger ranks second most popular, while the main Facebook app ranks first.
Facebook Messenger was designed to compete with other popular messaging apps like Snapchat. It appears as though Facebook has succeeded in its attempt to create a Snapchat alternative.
Since its initial release, the Facebook Messenger app has gained several useful features. The app can be used to make video calls, instant video sharing, and money transfers.
Many users were upset when they were forced to download a second app to message their friends. There was even a concern among a lot of users about the app’s automatic location tracking feature. The feature would display your location to friends were messaging by default. The company later decided to disable that feature by default.
The report by comScore listed the top 15 apps in the United States. According to the list, Google’s YouTube app came in at a close third place, behind Facebook messenger by just 0.2 percent. After YouTube, three other Google apps are listed: Google Search, Google Play, and Google Maps.
While two Facebook-owned apps ranked at the top of the list — as The Verge pointed out — WhatsApp is missing from the list. Last year, WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook for $21.8 billion. The app allows users to send texts, chat, send photos and videos, and more. It’s similar to Apple’s iMessage in that it uses a data connection rather than a user’s monthly text allowance.
It was recently announced that WhatsApp boasts around 900 million monthly users. Interestingly, Facebook Messenger actually has less than 900 million active monthly users and sits somewhere around 600 million.
The explanation for WhatsApp’s absence is that comScore was only looking at the app’s popularity in the United States. WhatsApp is very popular in Asia and other parts of the world.
Despite its popularity, founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg said that WhatsApp won’t really be turned into a business until it hits 1 billion users. The app already generates some revenue, but to a company like Facebook, any money coming from WhatsApp is negligible.
“This may sound a little ridiculous to say, but for us, products don’t really get that interesting to turn into businesses until they have about 1 billion people using them,”
At the bottom of the list the popular messaging app aimed at young users, Snapchat, was ranked fifteenth. Facebook’s decision to split their messenger from the main app definitely paid off.
[Photo by Chris Jackson / Getty Images]