Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s Messenger standalone app, which initially received a lot of criticism from users, is gradually seeing a growing adoption. This is not too surprising given Facebook did not leave any other option for users when it segregated the app and designed Facebook Messenger for quick chats.

Facebook Inc (FB) Messenger App Gradually Gaining Ground

Is Messenger really that popular or do users just have no choice?

The growing adoption among users is evident from the fact that after around four months, the Facebook Messenger platform now has over 500 million users. But it can’t be denied that initially users were not happy about the standalone extra app, and even now we are not sure if the growing adoption is because users really like the app or because they were left with no other option.

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) truly believes that a separate app was required. Peter Martinazzi, director of product management, wrote in a blog post that messaging is a vital source for people to connect with each other. “Since Messenger launched in 2011 we’ve been passionate about giving people a faster and more expressive way to communicate,” Martinazzi said.

During his first Q&A session, Mark Zuckerberg was frequently asked about Facebook Messenger. Zuckerberg said that it was a big task to urge everyone in the community to install another app, but the move was made to enhance the mobile experience, so that every service performs optimally. In its FAQ, Facebook noted that users reply 20% faster on Messenger than on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB).

Facebook (FB) constantly updating Messenger

Users who have upgraded to the new Facebook Messenger can perform voice calls over Wi-Fi in iOS and Android platform in the United States, Canada, and India as well as group chat and message forwarding. Additionally, the app also allows Android users to see any conversation directly on their home screen.

Martinazzi said that Messenger parallels the performance of regular SMS services, but offers some additional features such as stickers, photo and video sharing and group chat. Furthermore, an update for the Messenger is released every week to improve the system.

“This is an exciting milestone but with a half billion people relying on Messenger to communicate and connect, it is also a reminder that there is so much left for us to do,” Martinazzi said.

In April, the social networking giant decided to separate the Messenger service from Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB). Android and the iPhone users were offered a separate Messenger, but the update does not affect the iPad users.