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Facebook Messenger has 1.2 billion users and is now twice the size of Instagram

Messenger is big.

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Remember when Facebook decided to take Messenger, its built-in messaging feature, and spin it out as its own app? People said things like, if Facebook thinks I’m downloading a separate app just to send Facebook messages, they’re crazy!

Facebook was not crazy, and hundreds of millions of us did download a second app.

Messenger on Wednesday announced that it now has 1.2 billion users, more than 700 million more users than it had when it separated Messenger from Facebook back in 2014. Messenger is now the same size as Facebook’s other messaging app, WhatsApp, and massively bigger than most other consumer apps on the market (that aren’t owned by Facebook, of course).

Messenger has evolved a lot as a standalone app; it has added things like payments, chat bots and video calls. Still, the company told Recode this month that it plans to follow in Facebook’s footsteps when it comes to monetizing — Messenger is getting into the advertising game.

Here’s a look at how Facebook’s four standalone apps have grown over time.

And here’s where they all stand now. Twitter, for reference, is at 319 million users, so about half the size of Instagram.

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