Yesterday on Facebook, the company's dedicated messaging app, Facebook Messenger, posted news regarding its recent milestone of surpassing 1 billion monthly active users. As The Next Web pointed out, that's a growth of 200 million users since January, and roughly suggests that 1 out of every 7 members of the population are logging onto Facebook Messenger each month to text with friends and family.
In the message thanking users, the Facebook Messenger team mentioned that the company will be celebrating by debuting the launch of new animated balloons into the chat app. Anyone can try it out by sending someone a traditional balloon emoji within Facebook Messenger to activate the new animation.
On behalf of the entire Messenger team, we'd like to thank the more than 1 billion people who are now using Messenger every month. People use Messenger to connect with the people and businesses they care most about. They make plans, share dreams, send payments, tell jokes, play games, let their loved ones know they're thinking of them and much, much more. We know that every message is important to you - no matter what you want to say - and we're grateful that you choose to communicate using Messenger.
To put its growing popularity into perspective, Facebook also released some stats related to its messaging service. According to the company, 22 million GIFs are sent every day (approximately 254 per second), and popular holidays saw a noticable uptick in user messaging, with 300 million flowers sent on Mother's Day and 360 valentine-related chats sent on February 14. Among a growing, robust list of sticker packs, the app's most popular remains related to the Angry Birds franchise.
A few of Facebook Messenger's well-received features -- like sticker packs, money payments, and easily-shareable GIFs -- will be making their debut in the new iOS 10 Messages app this fall. With the new SDK debuting in the software update, developers will be allowed to create app extensions that allow users to interact with third-party apps directly within Messages. Apple itself has also announced a few new features coming to its chat app, like new bubble effects, handwritten messages, and fullscreen animated backgrounds, similar to Facebook's balloon easter egg commemorating 1 billion users.