Yes, Facebook is big on mobile. But messaging on Facebook is pretty big on mobile, too.
More than 200 million people are regularly using Facebook Messenger, the company’s mobile texting application for Android and iPhone, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in the company’s quarterly earnings conference call on Wednesday.
It’s the first time Facebook has broken out numbers for Messenger, which it often cites as one of the company’s most successful standalone apps.
A spokesman confirmed the number to Re/code.
Facebook also owns — or will soon own — a number of other mobile applications that boast hundreds of millions of users. Instagram hosts more than 200 million regular users, while mobile messaging application WhatsApp just hit the half-a-billion mark.
But it’s significant for Facebook in that, aside from the core Facebook app, Messenger is the home-grown mobile application that is most successful with consumers.
Zuckerberg also expects WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger — which both offer texting services — to grow rather than compete in the future, as they “serve different use cases.”
There’s another reason that number will probably grow: If you want to message people on Facebook from a smartphone, now you’ll be forced to download the app. Facebook said that it’ll be ripping the Messaging feature out of its smartphone apps in the coming weeks, asking people to instead download the standalone app in the future. Annoying, but an effective way to grow a popular app, I’d say.
Shares of Facebook were up four percent at $63.82 in after-hours trading.
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