Facebook has revealed that its Messenger service currently has 800 million users a month worldwide. The news was posted by Facebook's VP of Messaging Products David Marcus, who went over the new features that Messenger added in 2015 and hinted at what might be coming in 2016.
One trend that Marcus hinted will be more important in the next year will be how Messenger will become a place to purchase products and services:
At Messenger we're thinking about how we can help you interact with businesses or services to buy items (and then buy more again), order rides, purchase airline tickets, and talk to customer service in truly frictionless and delightful ways. It is so much easier to do everything in one place that has the context of your last interactions, as well as your identity – no need to ever login – rather than downloading apps that you'll never use again and jumping around from one app to another.
Marcus also offered an update on "M", the code name for the digital assistant that is being developed for Messenger:
It's still very, very early days, but the growing AI capabilities are bringing unparalleled convenience to simple, every day tasks like booking a restaurant, sending flowers, and making plans. There will be more innovative developments to come from Messenger this year.