Facebook Messenger is growing fast — and Facebook thinks it’s taking us to a world where phone numbers become almost extinct.
In a blog post Thursday, Facebook Messenger boss David Marcus wrote that 2016 will be the year when phone numbers show real signs of death, in part due to the massive growth of Messenger, which now has 800 million monthly active users.
That means Facebook’s messaging app added roughly 100 million new users in just the past six months.
Marcus claims that smartphone messaging apps can now do so many of the things that traditional phone once did, including voice calls and texting, that it’s making phone numbers almost useless.
On top of that, Facebook Messenger offers additional perks like sending and receiving money, or sending photos and files — all without requiring the person’s actual phone number.
“With Messenger, we offer all the things that made texting so popular, but also so much more,” Marcus wrote. “You can make video and voice calls while at the same time not needing to know someone’s phone number.”
Marcus also stressed other Messenger functionalities like how businesses are using it as a customer service tool and people can engage in group chats, taking it beyond just a messaging platform.
Facebook has been ramping up to make the Messenger a standalone social platform. In March, it started allowing third-party developers to create apps that run within the messenger, and has been pushing businesses to use it as a way to communicate directly with its customers.