Facebook Messenger’s video calling feature is attractive
Facebook (FB) continues to enhance its Messenger platform. A couple of months ago, it introduced a payment feature to Messenger. This feature allows users to transfer money to their friends. A few days later, it enhanced its Messenger mobile app to provide users with the ability to book reservations and track orders online. Then, Facebook launched the web version of its Messenger mobile app.
On April 27, Facebook added the video calling feature to Messenger, according to Facebook’s press release. This feature makes Messenger an attractive app. It also allows users to make video calls between an Apple (AAPL) iPhone and a Google (GOOG) Android-based phone. This is unlike Apple’s FaceTime feature—it only works on Apple devices.
Facebook continues to enhance its apps
Now, Messenger attracts more than 600 million users every month. Its other apps, WhatsApp and Instagram have 800 million and 300 million MAUs (monthly active users), respectively. Facebook has 1.44 billion MAUs, as the above chart shows.
Facebook hasn’t introduced the video calling feature to WhatsApp, although it did introduce the WhatsApp voice calling feature a few weeks ago. Users can make VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) calls for free on WhatsApp. Instagram is also experiencing rapid growth. During the 1Q15 earnings conference call, Facebook mentioned that Instagram is growing by more than a 100% YoY (year-over-year) rate in some countries—including Japan (EWJ), South Korea, and Indonesia.
Introducing enhancements to its apps is certainly helping Facebook grow its user base. In comparison, Twitter (TWTR) continues to struggle in the quest to grow its MAUs. Currently, its MAUs are a shade above 300 million. We discussed this in Twitter in 1Q15: Monthly Active Users Remain Elusive.