Skip to main content

Are you a Facebook Messenger user? You’re now officially one in a billion or so

facebook messenger day holiday update 1
Facebook Messenger has finally caught up with another Facebook-owned messaging tool, WhatsApp, having secured its billionth active user this month. Growth has been steady, too, with 100 million coming on board in the last three months alone and another 100 million the quarter before that.

This is a big milestone for Facebook, which faced a lot of criticism when it announced that the Messenger app would be spun off from the main Facebook app. Both pieces of mobile software now enjoy more than 1 billion active users each, though there is understandably a lot of cross over between the two.

It’s also part of Facebook’s big push for diversification. Since launching Messenger as its own application, Facebook has also branched out into shopping, customer service, and games, as well as AI chatbot assistants — with mixed success.

Facebook is positioning itself to become a singular destination for many web users. Through the combination of its messaging application and the main Facebook app, it hopes to incorporate just about every service the average user requires when using the internet.

That doesn’t mean it isn’t willing to hedge its bets. Facebook did pay out close to $20 billion for WhatsApp in 2014 (thanks, Recode) and is continuing to develop that service into a strong competitor for Messenger. Indeed, WhatsApp still has the higher user count, though not by much considering Messenger’s recent impressive growth.

Considering that Facebook’s messaging app has now reached relative parity with its general Facebook app, it will be interesting to see whether either app grows significantly in the near future, or if Messenger’s explosive growth will now taper off as it reaches a saturation point among Facebook users.

Of course, there are still many Facebook users out there. The main Facebook website is closing in on 2 billion users, so perhaps CEO Mark Zuckerberg can whip up some magic to get everyone to migrate to the application instead.

Editors' Recommendations

I used two of the year’s oddest tech gadgets so you don’t have to
The open Nokia 5710 XpressAudio and Huawei Watch Buds

If you’re intent on not keeping your true wireless earbuds in a normal charging case, and want to hide them inside a different gadget, now is your time. The Huawei Watch Buds is a smartwatch with a pair of true wireless headphones inside, and the Nokia 5710 XpressAudio is a 4G phone that stores a pair of earbuds in the back.

It’s a bizarre niche that I’m surprised contains two products. I’ve used them, so it's my duty to report that both are a bit silly — and I don’t want to use any more of them, thank you very much. However, for the few people out there thinking they want to buy one, this is what they're like. For everyone else, you get to marvel at two of the oddest tech products seen in a while.
Phone or smartwatch?

Read more
What is 5G UC? Here’s what that icon on your phone really means
5G logo on the Motorola Edge (2022).

If you own a 5G-capable smartphone — which are all of the best phones today — there’s a good chance you’ve seen different 5G network icons showing up in your status bar. It’s a stark contrast to the pre-5G days when your phone showed “4G” or “LTE” no matter where you went.

It can get a bit confusing to see a 5G indicator one moment and then “5G UC” or “5G UW” the next. It’s not something you need to worry too much about, as you don’t usually have much control over it, but it’s still helpful to understand what these different symbols mean — and why they matter.
The humble beginnings of 5G

Read more
If you use this free password manager, your passwords might be at risk
Office computer with login asking for password and username.

Researchers have just found a flaw within Bitwarden, a popular password manager. If exploited, the bug could give hackers access to login credentials, compromising various accounts.

The flaw within Bitwarden was spotted by Flashpoint, a security analysis firm. While the issue hasn't received much -- or any -- coverage in the past, it appears that Bitwarden was aware of it all along. Here's how it works.

Read more