Being linked to the most-popular social network makes Messenger a very convenient messaging option, giving it a huge advantage in the long run.
If you are already friends with someone on Facebook, you can quickly start a conversation with them, share photos, initiate a video chat and more. The way it is designed, you simply cannot ignore its existence, like you would any other messaging service.
Messenger is growing in popularity as new folks sign up for a Facebook account and more and more users have access to smartphones, from which, you guessed it, they want to check what their friends are doing. As a result, Messenger just joined a very exclusive club on Google Play.
Messenger has topped 1 billion (yes, that would be 1,000,000,000) downloads on Google Play, being one of the few apps to have managed this. The milestone was revealed by Facebook's David Marcus and, naturally, CEO Mark Zuckerberg could not help but like the post.
In fact, with the exception of Google-made apps like Maps and YouTube, Facebook-made or owned apps are the only ones to have reached the 1 billion downloads mark on Google Play. The first was Facebook, in late-August 2014, followed by WhatsApp in mid-March 2015.
Ironically, Messenger is not even that well received by Google Play reviewers. With an average rating of 3.9 stars it does not appear to be the best-made app around, but folks are using it nonetheless. Looking at the ratings, there are over 9 million five-star ratings and 2.7 million one-star ratings, suggesting that some users are quite polarised by the offering.
Google Play is only part of Messenger's success, as the messaging service is also hugely popular on Apple's App Store.
While we do not have a similar count available, it is clear that iPhone users are massive Messenger fans given its first-place position in the free iPhone apps chart. It is followed by Facebook and YouTube.