Messenger now boasts more than 1.2 billion monthly active users, Facebook announced on Wednesday. Considering that the messaging app surpassed a billion MAUs last July, that means it’s currently experiencing more than 20% annual growth.
That’s not bad for an app that many users initially rejected when Facebook decided to separate it from its flagship service back in 2014.
The growth is even more impressive when you consider the competition that Messenger is facing, including other Facebook-owned apps.
If not at the expense of Messenger, Facebook is investing significant resources into Instagram’s own messaging feature, Direct. In fact, the social giant just streamlined Direct so it will now present users’ permanent and disappearing messages in one thread.
Since its last update in late 2016, the number of people using Direct has grown from 300 million to 375 million, per internal figures.
Of course, Messenger is also competing against Snapchat, which now ranks among the Top 10 most popular apps, according to comScore.