As may be expected with the popularity of social media, the Facebook app is the most often used app on smartphones. However, its usage has been declining lately, dropping over the last year from 76.2 percent down to 69.0 percent as of November of 2014.
A look at the data shows that Facebook Messenger has only been growing in popularity. Last year, the usage was relatively low at only 22.1 percent. The chart from November of 2014 shows that it nearly doubled in that short time, reaching 43.1 percent. This is a huge success for Facebook, giving it two apps that rank at elite levels for smartphone users.The problem, as some see it, is that the growth in popularity of Facebook Messenger is also what caused the main Facebook app to fall. Rather than using both apps, some users left the main app and focused only on the messenger system. Though the numbers for Facebook Messenger seem to be looking better and better, Facebook is cannibalizing some of its own traffic in order to get that growth.
The reason for this is quite simple: People used to be able to chat with Facebook friends via the main app, but now they can only browse the site, post on Timelines, post photos and do other activities on their own page. Chatting was removed when Facebook Messenger was made into its own app, so users who just want to chat now have to use a secondary app. The change in function has forced them to leave that flagship app behind although this exodus was not enough to unseat the Facebook app from the top position.
On the whole, Facebook should not be too concerned with the loss of usage of the main app; it did not fall as much as Messenger grew, so the company is still gaining users overall. At the same time, this just shows that some people only value Facebook as a way to talk in real time. By offering the Messenger app, Facebook aims to ensure that consumers do not turn elsewhere to do so.