When Facebook split its messaging service from the core app last summer, users were not at all pleased. But it turns out they’re willing to play Facebook’s game.
Messenger, the company’s standalone messaging app, now has 700 million monthly active users, up from 600 million just three months ago in late March. CEO Mark Zuckerberg dropped the new number during the company’s annual investor meeting on Thursday.
Since that app split, Messenger has been growing at a ridiculous rate, adding 200 million users in the past seven months. That split is a big reason for the growth — by removing messaging from the main Facebook app, it forced users to download Messenger in order to send and receive private messages on a smartphone. Facebook didn’t really give users a choice.
And while vanity metrics like this are fun to toss around, the growth of Messenger is pretty important given Facebook’s (perceived) plans for the service. It recently added its first commerce-related features, and additional changes to location sharing within Messenger hint at the possibility of a ride-sharing integration down the line.
All of these extra, non-messaging services require participation from outside partners, and Facebook has a massive user base to flaunt in the hope of getting those partners on board. It has the two largest messaging apps on the planet in WhatsApp and Messenger, and China’s WeChat is providing an example of what Facebook messaging might soon look like.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.