Facebook Messenger is one of only three Android apps to reach this symbol of popularity

Facebook Messenger is one of only three Android apps to reach this symbol of popularity
Facebook Messenger first launched on August 9th, 2011 with standalone apps available for the Apple App Store and what was then called the Android Market. Today, Android Police noted that the messaging app has passed a milestone that only two non-Google apps had previously reached — 5 billion installs on Android. Overall, Facebook Messenger becomes the 14th Android app to have been installed five billion times.

Most of the 14 apps to hit the 5 billion installs club on Android are Google branded apps such as YouTube, the Google Search app, Gmail and Google Maps. The three non-Google developed apps to have reached five billion installs include Facebook, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp; all three are owned by Facebook.

Facebook reached the milestone in 2019 and WhatsApp hit it in 2020. You might recall that in February 2014, WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook for a combination of stock and cash that at first added up to $16 billion. Facebook is reportedly working on a way to allow all of its apps to work together, but this will require WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption to be added to Messenger (along with Instagram Direct) which is something that Facebook says won't happen until next year at the earliest.

Meanwhile, messaging apps like Signal and Telegram both offer end-to-end encryption and have picked up some new subscribers at WhatsApp's expense following the announcement of the latter's new privacy policy change. Signal has been installed over 50 million times and Telegram has been downloaded over 500 million times. This is a good example of how hard it is for a non-Google app to reach 5 billion installs.

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