Facebook Messenger passes 500m users

<p>Facebook has said that its new Messenger app has passed the 500 million user mark.</p>

Facebook Messenger has passed the 500 million user mark, according to the social networking giant.

The Silicon Valley-based company introduced its Messenger app in 2011 and encouraged users to download it to easily send private messages. The social network faced criticism as it phased out its traditional inbox system to replace it with the app. However, its popularity has grown in recent months with the company noting that usage had doubled from 200 million in April to over 500 million in November.

Facebook's new Messenger app allows users to not only send messages but also pictures, videos and make calls free of charge. The move was designed to streamline the service offered but users were critical of the app. Many stated that they did not like the idea of leaving the Facebook website to use a different app simply to send messages.

Despite the negative feedback, Facebook's director of product management Peter Martinazzi said that the company would be continuing with its use.

Writing in a company blog, Mr Martinazzi said: "Messenger was the first of our standalone apps, and unlike our core Facebook apps, it focused on one use case – messaging. We've also continued to improve speed and reliability. Updates to Messenger ship every two weeks so it continues to evolve and improve."

Facebook's decision to roll out its Messenger app comes after the company was given the go-ahead to purchase another mobile messenger service – WhatsApp. There has been a lot of opposition to Facebook's proposed $19 billion (£11.9 billion) acquisition of WhatsApp, but the social networking firm's decision has been approved by the European Union regulators.

The European Commission deemed that Facebook and WhatsApp were "not close competitors" and it would not impact on the range of applications available to consumers. The deal represents the largest in Facebook's ten-year history and gives it a major platform in mobile messaging.

Find up to date information on the FTSE 100 and spread betting strategies at City Index.

Build your confidence risk free
Join our live webinars for the latest analysis and trading ideas. Register now

StoneX Financial Ltd (trading as “City Index”) is an execution-only service provider. This material, whether or not it states any opinions, is for general information purposes only and it does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. This material has been prepared using the thoughts and opinions of the author and these may change. However, City Index does not plan to provide further updates to any material once published and it is not under any obligation to keep this material up to date. This material is short term in nature and may only relate to facts and circumstances existing at a specific time or day. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) financial, investment, legal, tax or other advice and no reliance should be placed on it.

No opinion given in this material constitutes a recommendation by City Index or the author that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. The material has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research. Although City Index is not specifically prevented from dealing before providing this material, City Index does not seek to take advantage of the material prior to its dissemination. This material is not intended for distribution to, or use by, any person in any country or jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to local law or regulation.

For further details see our full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.