It has been a good year for the Facebook Messenger app with the reach soaring past the competition. However, the main app has suffered slightly, but remains in first place when taking the percentage of overall reach. It may be good news for the company, which faced outrage from customers during the summer.
In August 2014, Facebook decided to cut off the private messaging feature on the main app. Users found that they had limited options and would likely have to download the Facebook Messenger app if they wanted to read their messages on the go. This was certainly the easiest option, since the messages would come straight to the phone and pop-up easily on the screen.
The two other options were to wait until a user got home to check messages on the desktop in the old-fashioned way, or to check through the mobile version of the website from smaller devices. Both of these had their drawbacks, including a delay in replying. One thing that users liked about the standalone app was that they could private message on the go, as if they were texting.
After making the announcement, many accused the company of just wanting more money from advertisement revenue. However, Facebook defended its actions by stating that it was to add more functionality to the app.
The Facebook Messenger app reach has soared over the last 12 months, but it has not been easy. Many people were outraged at the permissions that the app asked for so that it could be installed. This included access to the camera and a phone’s address book. According to the social media giant, the permissions were required to get full access of the features on the app.
Over 12 months, the Facebook Messenger app’s reach has grown by 21 percent, moving up from 14th to fifth in the top 15 smartphone apps. This does seem to be at the expense of the main app. While the main app remains in the number one spot, the reach has dropped from 76.2 percent to 69 percent.
Google has taken spots two to four with three of its apps. The Google Play Store app rose from third place to second place between November 2013 and November 2014 according to ComCast data, with the percentage of use increased by 0.5 percent. Google Search and YouTube also rose by a place each, with their percentage reach increasing by 1.4 percent and 6.2 percent respectively. Gmail and Google Maps also remained in the top 15, both switching places with each other.
Twitter saw a decrease in percentage, but increased on the table with 21.3 percent reach in 2014. Google+ made it into the top 15 for the first time, with a total reach of 19.3 percent. Google had a total of six apps in the top 15 in the 12 month period, showing that it is serious competition for others.
However, that growth does not take away from Facebook’s success. Instagram also made the top 15, giving the site a third app. The Facebook Messenger app had the most success with the app reach soaring between 2013 and 2014.
By Alexandria Ingham