August 19, 2014 - 15:51 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Facebook Messenger has been downloaded over 500 mln times on Android devices worldwide, according to the Google Play Store.
Despite user backlash over Facebook’s controversial policy to force users to install the separate Messenger app to continuing using Facebook chat on a smartphone or tablet, it joins the list of apps that have been downloaded more than 500 million times, The Guardian reports.
Currently only Google’s own apps such as Gmail and YouTube, Facebook’s primary app and WhatsApp, which the social network bought in February, and Messenger have been downloaded more than 500m times.
No app has yet been downloaded over 1 bn times, despite there being over 1 billion monthly Android users globally as of July, according to data from Google.
Facebook Messenger on Android was criticized for the extensive number of permissions it required on install, giving it access to the majority of a smartphone’s features, data and connectivity, prompting privacy invasion fears.
The backlash by users prompted the social network to post an explanation of why its Messenger app requires access to audio recordings, photos and videos, phone numbers, read text messages and contacts, out of the 30-plus permissions the app demands on install on Android.
Despite user anger over being forced to install the app to continue chatting on Facebook, the Android Facebook Messenger app is faring better with customer reviews than the less than 2-star iPhone app, maintaining 4 stars from just under 8 mln ratings, The Guardian says.