- eMarketer’s latest report, “Facebook Messenger: Strategies for Customer Service, Ecommerce, Content and Advertising,” estimates that Messenger will reach 105.2 million active daily users in the U.S. this year.
- That figure represents 40% of mobile users, making Facebook Messenger the leading over-the-top mobile messaging app in the U.S.
- According to a study of global internet users from GlobalWebIndex, Facebook Messenger was the most used messaging app with 37% of those surveyed using it, followed by WhatsApp (33%), Skype (21%), Line (10%), and Google Hangouts (9%).
The standalone app version of Messenger came out in 2011, but didn’t really gain traction until Facebook dropped private messaging from within its flagship app, forcing its users to either download Messenger or go to the mobile web to send messages. Facebook still hasn’t dropped messaging from the desktop version of its platform.
In April, Messenger reached 900 million monthly users. Combined with Facebook’s WhatsApp messaging app, which reaches 1 billion people, Facebook controls the two leading messaging apps in the world.
Facebook has been active in bringing marketing tools to Messenger. Facebook announced a new feature in April that enables brands to create chatbots to automatically interact with users via sponsored chats. This week, Facebook announced that 11,000 chatbots have been launched on the app, also revealing new tools that help advertisers build chatbots for the app.
For marketers, messaging apps are a new opportunity to reach audiences, and chatbots are one way to help automate that engagement.
"We are using Messenger to provide a one-on-one engagement experience for users, enabling them to chat with familiar characters from TV or movies," Eyal Pfeifel, co-founder and CTO of imperson Ltd., told Marketing Dive. “We believe that creating an entertaining experience is critical, so this is one of our main tactics. In addition, using familiar characters (like famous TV or movie characters) helps create the emotional attachment that is also important in such an engagement."