Last Updated: February 12, 2021
Are you on Facebook? Numbers suggest you most likely are.
At the very least, most people you know have an account there. And a good part (if not most) of your target market too. After all, Facebook is still the most popular social network.
For anyone on Facebook, using their Messenger app becomes inevitable and natural. This shows up in the numbers as well.
Facebook Messenger statistics show that the app is the second most popular in its category as of October 2019.
So, the odds are in favor of you using Facebook’s messaging app.
And why not, it sure is convenient.
Here are some more numbers that show how influential Facebook Messenger is.
Fascinating Facebook Messenger Statistics (Editor’s Choice):
- There are 1.3 billion Messenger users globally.
- Facebook Messenger is expected to grow to 2.4 billion users by 2021.
- More than 20 billion messages are exchanged between businesses and users monthly on Facebook Messenger.
- There are more than 300,000 active bots on Messenger.
- Facebook Messenger is one of the leading messaging platforms in the US with more than 2 million monthly downloads.
- In 2018, more than 126 million US mobile users accessed Messenger.
- Messenger marketing leads to 70% better open rate than email marketing.
Now, if you happen to be unfamiliar with the app, you may wonder: are Facebook and Messenger the same thing?
The short answer is: not exactly.
But let’s go with the long answer and start by looking at what Facebook Messenger is.
Facebook Messenger History
Facebook Messenger (or just Messenger) is a messaging app, initially introduced in 2008 as Facebook Chat.
So, is Messenger part of Facebook?
Yes, it is.
In 2010, Facebook Messenger was rebranded and the following year became available for download both on Android and iOS.
In 2012, the brand put an end to the debates around the question: “Do you need Facebook to use Messenger?”
1. Android users can sign up to the app without a Facebook account
Apparently, you don’t.
Facebook separated the messaging functionality from the main Facebook app and now users can download each one as a standalone.
The signup requires only a name and a phone number.
This is good news for those who don’t want to create a Facebook profile to be able to chat with friends on Messenger.
The option is available for iOS devices as well.
Further developing the app:
2. In 2015, Facebook Messenger enabled location sharing
(Source: The Verge)
That year, the messaging service made it possible to share other locations, different from your own, directly in your conversation.
By 2017, the company had introduced live location sharing. It allowed you to share your current location with friends and family for up to an hour at a time.
A year earlier:
3. In April 2016, Facebook Messenger introduced group voice calling
The voice calling allowed for a maximum of 50 call participants, which was pretty impressive.
2017 was a pivotal year for Facebook Messenger as another massive update happened as well.
4. In 2017, at its annual conference, Facebook announced several enhancements for bots available on Messenger
- Chatbots – bots that inject notifications in chats – such as news, sports progress, receipts, and others.
- Chat extensions: those allow using apps like games, music playlists, and flight booking.
Along with the extension, FB Messenger introduced “Discovery” – a tab with recently used bots, bots categories, trending experiences, and searches
- QR scan: that one allows users to scan QR codes through Messenger’s camera and connect with branded bots
In 2017 again, Facebook integrated another one of the changes in Messenger.
5. Messenger rolled out its virtual assistant “M” for the US market
“M” scans chats for keywords and then suggests relevant actions.
For instance, if you message someone the phrase “Pay me $20”, “M” will suggest its payment systems.
In 2017, the company introduced another new feature:
6. In March 2017, Facebook announced a new feature for Messenger: “Messenger Day”
The feature allowed you to share your day on Messenger. And decorate photos and videos that disappeared after 24 hours.
However, in November 2017:
Facebook killed off “Messenger Day” by merging it with “Stories” – another video message feature on Facebook that covered most of the “Messenger Day” functions.
Similar to Instagram’s slideshows, Facebook Stories are synchronized and appear on both Messenger and Facebook apps.
2017 also brought another popular feature of the platform:
7. Facebook Messenger introduced “reactions” and “mentions”
Reactions let users add a reaction to a message by tapping and holding on it. Using emojis, you can let your chat buddies know how you feel about something they’ve said.
Mentions, on the other hand, allow users to address a specific chat member by typing “@” and their name.
2018 Facebook Messenger statistics didn’t disappoint as:
8. Facebook introduced its anticipated hardware – Facebook Portal
The devices enable Messenger-based video calling and are also integrated with Amazon’s smart assistant Alexa.
How Popular is Messenger?
It’s clear that Facebook invests in attracting new users and not only in the US but worldwide.
And how is that turning out?
Well, quite well if we look at Facebook Messenger stats.
First, we have to look at the scale of social media and the enormous success Facebook has as such a platform.
What do you reckon, how many people use social media in the world?
9. In 2018, there were 2.65 billion people using social media worldwide
Forecasts predict the number will only increase in the next few years.
By 2021, there will be about 3.1 billion Facebook Messenger users globally.
The rise is taking place in part because of the growth of developing digital markets. These, in turn, benefit hugely from infrastructure development and cheap smartphone availability.
Globally, the penetration rate of social media is about 45%. Still, the average time spent on social media varies from country to country.
The Philippines rank at number one in terms of engagement. Typically, the users there spend around 4 hours per day on social media platforms.
US users, on the other hand, spend a little less than 2 hours per day browsing through social media.
In that case: how much data does Facebook Messenger use? With so many users online spending time on the app, the number just has to be mindblowing.
Turns out just browsing through the app (the News Feed and viewing photos) amounts to around 1.5 MB of data per minute.
If you decide to watch a video, the usage increases to 2.6MB per minute.
Let’s say you spend 45 minutes per day on Facebook. That time amounts to 2GB of data per month.
But still, users statistics show that Facebook is the most popular place people hang around virtually:
10. A whopping 2.4 billion users are active on Facebook every month
Part of why Facebook usage is so huge is that it’s predominantly mobile. Since we carry our phones wherever we go, this allows (more of) us to use the platform a lot more often.
In January 2018, 61% of social media activity in the US was done through a mobile device.
As of the second quarter of 2020, a whopping 2.7 billion+ users are active on Facebook every month which is an increase of 12% from September 2019.
(Source: Hootsuite Blog)
And of all those people on their phones, how many use Facebook Messenger?
Well according to Statista:
11. Monthly, 1.3 billion people use Facebook Messenger
The number last measured in October 2019 ranks Facebook Messenger as the second most popular mobile messenger app among users. 11% of the world’s population uses Facebook Messenger every month.
It’s only surpassed by WhatsApp, for which the particular statistic shows a userbase of 1.6 billion per month. The battle of WhatsApp vs. Facebook Messenger is close, but there you go – there’s only one winner and it’s WhatsApp.
Although as of 2021, WhatsApp has officially become the favorite messaging app with 2 billion monthly active users, statistics show that when it comes to sharing photos or other media, Facebook Messenger is still the top choice. Facebook data from May 2018 shows that people share over 17 billion photos and 200 million videos per day on Facebook Messenger. 400 million people use voice and video chat per month. In comparison, only 4.5 billion photos are shared on WhatsApp.
Facebook and WhatsApp combined make up more than half of the world’s messenger app usage.
But, given that Facebook owns both platforms – they’ll be OK, regardless.
Let’s look at whom the platform most appeals to.
Facebook Messenger Data Usage
Does Facebook Messenger use data?
Let’s see what the statistics say.
12. Facebook Messenger does use data to send and receive messages across the app and unless you have a Wi-Fi connection, it will count towards your cellular data plan.
But how much data does Messenger use precisely? This is hard to determine because there are several factors that determine the Messenger data usage. These include:
- Sending text-only messages
- Sending GIFs, emojis, photos, or other visuals
- Making voice calls
- Making video calls
Text-only messages don’t use much data as opposed to GIFs, emojis, and photos. But even they do not use as much as voice and video calls.
How much data does a Facebook Messenger call use?
Here’s the answer:
Facebook Messenger voice calls consume 333 KB per minute or 250 MB on average for an hour of calls.
How much data does a Facebook Messenger video call use?
Let’s see what the numbers say.
14. A video call on Facebook Messenger will consume 3.25 MB per minute which is 195 MB per hour.
15. There are 150 million video calls made per day using the Facebook Messenger app. (Source Facebook.com)
It is also worth noting that downloading Messenger uses 130 MB and the app itself is still using data when running in the background even if not used.
Facebook Messenger Demographics in 2019
According to Statista, as of November 2019, the age distribution of Messenger users goes like this:
16. 27.3% of users of FB Messenger in the US are aged between 25 to 34
The next age group where the messenger for Facebook is most popular is users between 35 and 44 years, as they hold 21%.
45 to 51-year-old users are third with 15.9%. And those aged between 18 and 24 years hold 14.7% of Messenger usage in the States.
Users aged from 13 to 17 are shown to account for 1.7% of the platform’s usage.
Facebook apps also aim to attract even younger users. To that end, the company has designed an application for children aged 9 to 11 – Messenger Kids.
In Facebook’s own words – the app is aiming to create a social media platform that is kids friendly and doesn’t violate privacy.
Most kids aged 7 to 11 have been born in a world where digital communication is abundant, so it’s easy to believe that:
17. 1.4 million users are registered on Messenger Kids
(Source: Mobile Monkey)
Facebook has adapted Messenger to serve the needs of a generation that will likely drive its future development.
Think about it.
Kids of that age don’t really know a world without mobile phones or the internet. And we can’t ignore the interest and sometimes mastery they have in using digital platforms.
Facebook, for one, is paying attention. The app is giving parents control over what the kids see and do there, while also trying to attract its next generation of Facebook Messenger users.
Facebook Messenger Appeal to Business
Let’s continue examining Facebook Messenger facts.
How popular is the app among business owners?
According to Facebook Messenger statistics:
18. Over 7 million businesses use Facebook to attract target audiences
Compared to 2016, when there were 4 million companies advertising on Facebook, that’s a considerable increase.
That number goes to show that brands recognize Facebook’s advertising potential. Companies are eager to partner with social media, which essentially pays off for both sides. So if you haven’t yet created a Facebook business page now is the time.
Facebook advertising revenue was $17.44 billion in Q1 of 2020.
Facebook reports that 60 million local business pages have been created since their launch.
19. In 2018, there were over 300,000 chatbots on Facebook Messenger
(Source: Venture Beat)
The announcement hit a record, since only a year earlier Facebook Messenger only had about 100,000 bots.
Thanks to bots, businesses, and customers exchange 8 billion messages a day on the messaging app.
That said, businesses are not yet taking full advantage of chatbots. According to statistics, only 1% of companies engage with their clients via chatbots on Facebook Messenger.
That, however, is about to change.
20. Facebook Messenger marketing has a 10-80 times better engagement rate than email
Recently, email marketing hasn’t been doing so great.
Its open rates (how many prospective clients open the email they’ve been sent) is between 5-10%.
The clickthrough rate (how many times prospective clients follow a link from within the email) is at a shocking 1%.
This rounds to about 1 clickthrough per 1,000 emails.
Facebook’s messaging app, on the other hand, is doing well.
21. Messenger generates up to 80% open rate and a 20% clickthrough rate
The app even outperforms its parent company – Facebook.
22. Marketing through Messenger leads to 10 to 80 times better engagement than organic posts on Facebook News Feed
(Source: Mobile Monkey)
Facebook’s News Feed organic posts get 0-2% visibility and no more than a 2% clickthrough rate.
Messenger’s results are in an entirely different league.
Messenger ads work by redirecting communication. Facebook ads, in contrast, usually lead to the brand’s website where you hope to engage prospects.
Switching to Messenger ads (or click-to-Messenger ads) leads customers directly to chat with a bot.
The ads on Facebook look the same, they just utilize Messenger bots all the way – from engagement through lead generation to conversion.
And according to Mobile Monkey:
23. Facebook Messenger ads reduce cost per lead more than 30 times.
(Source: Mobile Monkey)
This marketing channel is still new and has already proven effective. Click-to-Messenger ads are relatively cheap, which in turn lowers the total clients’ acquisition costs.
Let’s get back to the regular users and one last interesting feature built for Messenger.
Facebook vs WeChat
(Source: The Verge)
Facebook Messenger Analyzer
The Analyzer is a tool that allows the user to look into some Facebook Messenger conversations stats.
To use the tool, users need to download their Facebook messenger data folder and then provide Messenger Analyzer a local file path to it.
Once that’s done, the tool offers different analysis types. Two of its key options are:
- Ranking friends by how much you have talked to them
- Ranking chat groups by members’ participation (measured by total length in characters)
Statistics on the Impact of Messaging
- Facebook for business statistics shows that “messaging inspires trust”.
24. 85% of the users in Brazil, 74% in India, and 61% in the US and the UK, claimed that businesses that provided the option for direct messaging were seen as trustworthy.
25. An interesting fact from the research conducted by Greenberg, Inc. in June 2018 says that “56% of people have sent a message consisting only of emojis”.
- Therefore it is not surprising that people who like using emojis, GIFs, and other visuals in their messages are 1.59x more likely to report having honest, effortless, and amusing conversations.
26. This New Year’s Eve marked a record-breaking number of Facebook Messenger group video calls of 3+ people in the US, i.e. twice as much as the average number of group video calls per day.
To Wrap It Up…
In recent years, some people argue that Facebook is not as relevant as it used to be.
It may be true that the initial hype around the network is no longer there.
Still, Facebook numbers, and especially Facebook Messenger statistics show the brand hasn’t lost its influence on the social media market. It continues to daringly shape the dynamics of how people interact online.