Although it’s the second most popular app of all time with billions of downloads, thousands of people around the world ask search engines every month, “What is Messenger?”
So whether you’re brand new to Facebook or Facebook Messenger, this article covers everything you could possibly want to know about the fastest growing communication platform on earth.
In order to answer your questions about Messenger quickly, use these links to navigate to your topic of interest:
- What is Facebook Messenger?
- How to use Facebook Messenger
- How to create a Messenger account
- Facebook Messenger features
- What is dark mode on Messenger?
- How to use Messenger for business?
- Facebook Messenger chatbots
- How to build chatbots for Messenger
- How to add Messenger to your website
- What is Messenger for Instagram?
- Instagram Messenger for business
- Messenger statistics
Let’s not waste any time and jump straight into it! What is Messenger?
What is Facebook Messenger?
Facebook Messenger is a messaging app and platform developed by Facebook that launched in August 2011. Messenger is used by over 1.3 billion active users worldwide as a place to share, hang out, and communicate with your connections.
Once limited to Facebook users only, Messenger now powers conversations within Facebook, Instagram, Portal, and Oculus VR.
And although Messenger has expanded its reach across Facebook products and services, the messaging application has mostly been used to date in conjunction with Facebook via desktop browser, or accessed using its mobile app on Android and iOS devices – including Apple Watch.
How To Use Facebook Messenger
The easiest way to start using Messenger is to create a Facebook account. Then, to start using Messenger on your mobile devices, download the Messenger app for iPhone or Android.
How to Create a Messenger Account
Next, let’s walk through how to get Facebook Messenger and how to set up a Messenger account.
Unfortunately, in January 2020, Facebook removed the ability to create a Messenger account without a Facebook account. So you will need to create a Facebook account in order to use Messenger.
To create an account, simply go to Facebook.com or Messenger.com on your desktop browser and follow the directions to get started.
To create a Messenger account via mobile device, go to the App Store on iPhone or Google Play for Android and create a Facebook account. After creating your Facebook account, download the Messenger app from either the App Store or Google Play apps market.
Facebook Messenger Features
Text messaging: At its core, Messenger is a texting app for both one-on-one and group messaging, but it can also send images and video. Messenger also includes lots of built-in emojis, stickers, and GIFs.
Voice & Video Calls: You can use Messenger to make voice and video calls to your connections on Facebook and Instagram.
Messenger Rooms: Messenger Rooms is a video chat room where you can use link sharing to connect to more people. Depending on your room settings, participants won’t need to download, log in to or connect on Messenger to join your call.
Video: Messenger video features allow you to watch movies, music videos, TV shows, and more with your connections over Messenger video chat.
Emojis: Messenger emojis allow you to use animated images instead of text, such as ???? and ????. You can also use emojis to customize reactions to your connections’ messages.
Animated Effects: You can add a lot of life to conversations using effects features in Messenger. These include AR (augmented reality) effects, message effects, and selfie stickers.
Chat Themes: Choose from different themes and colors to make your chats more personal
Replies & Forwarding: Makes it easy to choose the messages you want to reply to or forward from any of your chats.
App Lock: This Messenger feature keeps your chats secure. You can opt-in to use your device’s face or fingerprint ID to unlock Messenger, so only you have access to your chats.
Payments: Payments allow you to send money to friends and family. You can send and receive money securely by adding a debit card, PayPal account, or even a reloadable prepaid card.
Business: Messenger is also rapidly growing in popularity for business. You can connect with businesses, find deals, make reservations, get customer support, and more by chatting with your favorite companies in Messenger.
What is Dark Mode on Messenger?
Dark mode on Messenger can most easily be described as changing the background color from white to black. However, dark mode on Messenger has more practical uses than one might think.
Dark mode provides lower brightness while maintaining contrast and vibrancy. Additionally, Dark mode cuts down the glare from your phone for use in low light situations. This way, you can use the Messenger features you love no matter when or where you are.
Dark mode can be activated in Messenger with a simple toggle switch from the app’s settings. To activate dark mode, tap your profile photo in Messenger to access your settings and toggle on dark mode to switch the chat aesthetic from white to black.
What is Messenger for Business?
Did you know that you can use Facebook Messenger for your business page?
Facebook Messenger for business includes a range of tools and platforms to create virtual assistants for marketing, sales, and customer support on the most popular chat application in the U.S. – Messenger.
There are many business use cases for Facebook Messenger, as depicted in the following infographic:
Business use cases for Messenger:
- Build a chatbot for Facebook Messenger
- Automate lead generation with Messenger
- Create a Messenger greeting for your business page
- Send chat blasts to your Facebook contacts
- Run Facebook Messenger ads
- Facebook post autoresponders
- Run Facebook Messenger drip campaigns
- Using Facebook Messenger for customer support
- Measuring performance with bot analytics
- Run a giveaway on Facebook
- Get contact information from Facebook fans
- Messenger for Facebook Business Page
Facebook Messenger chatbots
If you want to use Messenger for business, you’ll need to use a chatbot platform with all the lead generation tools, marketing automation tools, and other business capabilities that make the above use cases possible.
If you need to brush up on your chatbot knowledge, here’s everything you need to know: What is a chatbot?
But what is a Messenger chatbot? Facebook Messenger chatbots are artificial intelligence computer characters that can hold conversations with humans from within the Facebook Messenger chat application.
Facebook Messenger bots are a scalable and affordable solution that can help businesses operate at a high level on par with large scale systems.
Out of all the advantages of using chatbots compatible with Facebook Messenger, the most prominent is the access to the social network’s more than 1.3 billion active global users.
Other key advantages include that Messenger users report instantaneity and convenience of being able to communicate with service providers from an application that they already use.
Additionally, Messenger users and businesses alike favor the benefit of retaining a persistent chat history, another unique advantage of chatbots in Facebook Messenger.
How to build chatbots for Messenger
If you’ve gone all the way from wondering, “What is Messenger?” to wanting to build a Messenger bot for your business, congrats, that’s impressive!
So, when you’re ready to build a Facebook Messenger bot or add Facebook live chat to your website, you can find those guides here:
Messenger chatbots are amazing. And you can build extremely engaging experiences via Messenger for your business. For example, the following video is of our own menu-based chatbot in action on Facebook Messenger.
In this example, the user is interested in learning more about how to use Instagram for business.
How to add Messenger to your website
The most popular use case for chatbots is adding live chat to your website. And yes, you can add a fully functional Messenger widget to any web page. ????
Here’s a great video (part of the MobileMonkey tutorial series from Chatimize), that you can follow along with by creating a free MobileMonkey account, on how to add live chat to your website in just a few minutes:
What is Instagram Messenger?
In late 2020, Facebook enabled new messaging features on Instagram. This allows you to message your Instagram friends right from Messenger, which means Instagram now has all of the best Messenger features that Facebook does.
Furthermore, no matter which platform you actively use or are currently on – Facebook or Instagram – you can freely communicate with the people you know on either platform, simultaneously.
Instagram is also adding more than 10 new features so you can stay close to your friends.
For example, selfie stickers are a unique hybrid of Boomerang, emojis, and selfies – and a new way to react to conversations.
And Watch Together lets you watch trending videos with friends on IGTV during a video call. We’re also introducing vanish mode, where you can set messages to automatically disappear after they’re seen.
Messages and calls from friends and family using Instagram will stay in your Instagram app. The main change is that people using the Messenger app can now reach you on Instagram without you needing to download a new app, and vice versa.
You can also control where you receive messages and calls, such as in your chats, in your message requests, or not at all.
Instagram Messenger for business
As of October 19, 2020, Messenger from Facebook announced API Support for Instagram. The combination of these two massive channels has huge implications for marketing professionals everywhere.
Prior to this announcement, there was a big gap for marketers trying to further leverage Instagram for business with the platform’s existing messaging features. That’s because Instagram DMs didn’t feature a developer API that allowed for private messaging at scale, which excluded Instagram from most chat marketing funnels.
But all of that is about to change.
Businesses can reach an incredible number of engaged Instagram users with the tools enabled through the Messenger API. Messenger API support for Instagram means businesses and developers can now manage their customer communications on Instagram at scale.
To put the power of Messenger into perspective, it’s fitting to end this complete guide with the most up to date Facebook Messenger statistics (2021):
- Messenger was first released in August of 2011.
- Over 1 billion messages are sent between people and businesses on Messenger each month.
- Messenger was the fastest growing app of 2015 in the U.S. (Nielsen).
- People send more than 21 billion photos to friends through Messenger every month.
- Messenger is the second most popular iOS app of all time, behind Facebook (App Annie).
- Just two days after launching video calling in Messenger, 1 million calls had been made.
- Messenger has been downloaded more than 1 billion times on Android.
- On average, more than 5 million GIFs are sent every day via Messenger.
- Messenger already accounts for more than 10% of all mobile VoIP calls globally.
- More than 1 billion people use Messenger each month.
- Since the launch of Messenger Platform, a number of Messenger apps have gotten more than 1 million installs, including Talking Tom, GIPHY and Sound Clips.
- There are 34,000 developers and 33,000 bots on the Messenger platform.
- More than 375,000 people from over 200 countries engage with bots on Messenger every day.
- The number of messages sent to businesses on Facebook has doubled in the past year.
The Complete Guide To Messenger: Getting Started
We hope you learned everything you could possibly want to know about Messenger! For more information on how to use Messenger for marketing, sales, or customer service, you can find hundreds of helpful resources here:
To get started using Messenger for business, here what to do next!
Important Next Steps:
- Create your first chatbot today after you sign-up for MobileMonkey.
- Talk and learn about chatbots with other enthusiasts. Join MobileMonkey Island, our Facebook group of 40K marketers and entrepreneurs who are ready to support you.
- Advance your marketing performance with Chatbot University, a free chatbot tutorial and training area for chat marketers.