Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) announced that its messenger application has about half a billion users worldwide, up from the reported 200 million users in April. The development comes several months after Facebook has announced that the messaging service of the social networking site will be converted into a separate application for mobile users. This means that those who use Facebook on their mobile devices would need to download the app to continue sending messages, videos, make free calls, and join a chat group.
The announcement, however, have annoyed several Facebook users and critics. Privacy concerns were raised by users who are not as happy to download another standalone app in their devices as they would be in being able to use the messaging service within the Facebook mobile site itself. In a tweet, Jonathan Zdziarski, an iOS digital forensics expert, noted that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) have more spyware code than can be seen in products used in enterprise surveillance. Facebook was quick to respond to the criticism, saying that its use of usage behaviour analysis is an element intended to improve the app and render it better, faster, and more efficient.
In its announcement, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), through its Director of Product Management Peter Martinazzi, said that it is “passionate about giving people a faster and more expressive way to communicate.” It explained further that as its first standalone apps, Facebook Messenger enables users to communicate instantly in ways that can’t be done thru SMS, like making free calls, sending videos and stickers, taking selfies, and making group chats. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) also said that an update to the app will be rolled out every two weeks to continue improving it, noting that with half a billion users relying on Messenger as a means to communicate, there is still so much left to do.
This article has been written by Nonito Guntan.