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Facebook Messenger is now about as popular as WhatsApp

  • Facebook said its Messenger service now has 1.3 billion monthly users,
  • That's up 30 percent from 1 billion in July 2016, and draws Messenger even with WhatsApp, Facebook's other messaging service.
TECHONOMY 2016
David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Facebook said its Messenger app now has 1.3 billion monthly users, up 30 percent in just over a year and rivaling the popularity of WhatsApp.

The milestone, disclosed on Thursday, comes two months after WhatsApp, Facebook's other message service, said it was serving 1.3 billion users a month.

Facebook wants to generate more revenue from those services after warning that ad sales growth from its News Feed product will start to wane in the second half of this year.

The company began testing Messenger ads two months ago. CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently said he wanted the company to move even faster to get ads in front of Messenger users.

Facebook shares are up more than 40 percent this year, as Wall Street analysts expect its 2017 sales to rise 42 percent from a year earlier.

Facebook said in July 2016, that Messenger had 1 billion monthly users and updated that number in April to 1.2 billion.