Facebook Messenger crosses 900m active users; announces new Snapchat-like feature

Facebook Messenger crosses 900m active users; announces new Snapchat-like feature
Since it was rolled out some five years ago as a standalone app, Facebook Messenger has grown in strides, and as of now, boasts a laudable 900 million+ monthly active users. Perhaps even more impressive, however, is that the company passed the 800 million mark only three month ago. Competitive with the other top IM services and closing in on the billion-strong (and also Facebook-owned) WhatsApp, it looks in good shape to hit that ten-figure active user base before the close of this year. Today, the social network has announced a bevy of upcoming, mainly business-focused enhancements -- one of which borrows heavily from a feature already found through Snapchat.

The inbound changes announced via the Facebook news page are geared towards improving interaction between businesses and consumers. For example, many companies with a presence on Facebook utilize a custom username, but within the Messenger app, this precious dose of brand identity is seldom spotted. Looking ahead, vanity URLs shall benefit from improved visibility within Messenger. 

Facebook is also introducing shortened links, or what it calls Messenger Links, with the aim of streamlining the process of direct customer-business interaction through Messenger. By clicking on the shorter URL (m.me/username), users can easily begin a chat thread with the business in question. Messenger Codes work similarly, allowing users to scan a code with their device's camera (à la Snapchat) to open a new chat thread with said business. 

As many businesses through Facebook continue to utilize Messenger, Mark Zuckerberg and his team will also roll out Messenger Greetings, a pop-up note that appears as a new chat is opened with a business. As well as being helpful in respect of outlining the direction of the conversation, the greeting could be invaluable point of reference in times of crisis, when many customers are likely to be experiencing similar issues. Either way, for larger firms, this tool could save quite a few man hours. 

Facebook says the new features will be rolled out over the next couple of weeks. 

source: Facebook via TechCrunch

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9 Comments

1. PhoneCritic

Posts: 1354; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

I know I am in the minority here but I barley use FB or messenger; in fact if I could delete them from my phone I would. As it is a pre-installed bloatware. But to those that enjoy using it I guess this is welcome news.

2. Zylam

Posts: 1817; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

Same I don't use it at all, only install it when someone does not want to send me the link outside of a Facebook message. The second I'm done with it I delete it. Facebook apps are a better hog on both platforms. Stay away them do I.

3. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

I'm still used very old FB version on iOS that has built-in messenger. Zero bloat, works pretty good I don't know if it's good thing that Messenger is turning into all in one app or not, I mean surely users are glad but other companies, I'm not so sure :P

9. SYSTEM_LORD

Posts: 1168; Member since: Oct 05, 2015

I just froze the messenger app. I can't understand how this app could lose connection so often. I can be 10' from my Internet router and the thing could get a dropped connection! I switched from imo since they won't let me use my wireless headset to talk, and I switched to kakao...no complaints so far!

4. BobLawblaw unregistered

I deleted Messanger off of my phone. Much better battery life afterwards. I've disabled Facebook and just use the Web browser. I hate Facebook but it's handy to keep in touch with people back home in Ireland when you're 19000 km away in New Zealand.

5. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

I have to admit, I resisted using Messenger for a long time, but I actually am pretty fond of it. It does have flaws, but the overall design is better than the regular Facebook app.

6. darkkjedii

Posts: 31281; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Bring on the updates and features.

7. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

The reason I use DM and messenger is because the layouts are simple and I prefer it over text messaging. I see something funny and it's easier and faster to forward / upload.

8. drahcir02

Posts: 102; Member since: Mar 03, 2016

I'm using messenger to save pictures. Sending pictures to myself, it's easier to find/access.

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