Social media giant Facebook has announced a hike in its number of users on the Messenger application by up to one billion, which marks a key milestone as it seeks to expand the platform to new services.
The growth in Messenger gives greater reach to Facebook, which is moving to create a family of applications beyond the social network.
Facebook Vice President David Marcus in a statement said, “As part of this journey to one billion, we focused on creating the best possible experiences in modern day communications.”
“We remain focused on helping connect people to the people and businesses who matter most,” he added. Facebook itself has more than 1.6 billion users and WhatsApp, another messaging application acquired by Facebook for some USD 20 billion in 2014, also counts more than a billion users.
Other services in the Facebook family include Instagram, which more than 500 million use to share images, and Oculus, which makes virtual reality gear. According to the company, Messenger is the second most popular application in Apple’s iOS system behind Facebook.
It further stated that more than 17 billion photos are sent to friends through Messenger every month and that the Messenger users have played 1.2 billion games of virtual basketball.