When Facebook announced that its users had to download its standalone Messenger app to continue using the feature earlier this year, many were upset – and worried about their privacy. However, despite the initial concerns, the app has grown into a massive success; according to Facebook, it currently sports around 500 million active users.
“This is an exciting milestone but with a half billion people relying on Messenger to communicate and connect, it is also a reminder that there is so much left for us to do,” said Peter Martinazzi, Facebook’s director of product management.
Though there was a strong backlash against the app at first (users had to input their information all over again when downloading it, including default settings that identified personal information), there’s no denying its astronomical growth, expanding its user base by 150 percent in one year. And this is only the beginning; Facebook has strongly suggested that Messenger will serve as a platform for online payments on the site, a move that could turn the world of credit cards and banking on its ear. That change, when it inevitably comes, will probably make many users uncomfortable. But Facebook will no doubt continue to charge ahead with its initiatives as always, whether its 1.35 billion users are comfortable with them or not.