Facebook Messenger Has 500M Users, Most Are Unhappy

Nov 11, 2014 09:34 AM EST | Matt Mercuro

Facebook's messaging service is being used by more than half a billion people, just months after it was separated from the main Facebook app.

"Today more than 500 million people are using Messenger each month and we're more committed than ever to make it the best possible messaging experience," said Facebook's director of product management, Peter Martinazzi, in a press release.

The social networking site said back in April users would need to download a separate app for Messenger, which would allow them to send videos, chat with groups and even make free calls.

During its first month, the Messenger service already had over 200 million users.

Despite the large number of users, people are still not happy about the decision, which CEO Mark Zuckerberg last week called an effort to enhance the mobile experience.

"Asking everyone in our community to install a new app is a big ask," Zuckerberg said, according to The Verge. "I appreciate that that was work and required friction. We wanted to do this because we believe that this is a better experience. Messaging is becoming increasingly important. On mobile, each app can only focus on doing one thing well, we think."

The app isn't contributing to Facebook's bottom line, but that could change eventually, according to Wired.

The company might monetize Messenger in a couple of ways, like payments, promotions and corporate communications.

Zuckerberg briefly mentioned payments during an earnings call this year, but said any plan involving Messenger was "years" away.

"We could take the cheap and easy approach and just try to put ads in or do payments and make some money in the short term," Zuckerberg said of the company's plans for Messenger. "But we're not going to do that."

Messenger could also eventually become a promotional tool for products, according to Wired. The app released stickers for the new movie "Despicable Me 2" to coincide with the film's debut last year.

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