Facebook's Messenger has now become part of the exclusive group of apps with over 1 billion downloads on the Google Play Store, joining Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, Gmail, Maps and Google Search.
Facebook and Google are the only two companies with Android apps that have been downloaded over 1 billion times from the Google Play Store.
"Happy to make it to the very exclusive Android 1 billion+ downloads club," posted David Marcus, Facebook VP for Messaging Products, on his Facebook page.
The milestone is especially significant for Messenger, as the app was initially met with scorn upon its launch.
Facebook decided to spin out Messenger as a standalone app, separating its function from the Facebook social network app in the middle of last year. Users were sent notifications of the impending change, and that support for the Messenger function of Facebook would cease in favor of the new Messenger standalone app.
As such, users were forced to download the app to continue sending messages to their friends. However, some users refused to do so because they did not like products, services or apps being forced upon them to download and use, which was what Facebook did when it released Messenger.
However, users became accustomed to Messenger after a while, aided by the seamless integration of the new app to the overall workings of the Facebook app that allowed easy transition between the two services. In addition, Facebook has been churning out features for Messenger to increase the value that it provides to users, and this focused development has been one of the reasons why Facebook decided to spin out the app as a separate project.
With Messenger, users are given a communication tool that can also function as a sharing tool for images and other content. Messenger now is able to support VOIP calling, with added features of being able to send money to friends within the app and allowing users to send their locations to their friends through visual mapping.
The developments have surely been instrumental in allowing Messenger to hit the 1 billion download mark on the Google Play Store, and it seems that Facebook is not slowing down, with many more updates to come.