Facebook Upgrades Messenger

In 2013, messaging apps became a hot topic in the mobile sphere, but there is still no hands-down dominant service in the U.S.  Facebook upgraded its offering in the text messaging space by revamping the two-year-old Messenger app, adding free calls and stickers, following the lead of Asian messaging leaders Line, Kakao Talk and WeChat.  The service also added real-time statuses to allow users to tell if their friends are online or on mobile, and phone number-based messaging to allow connections to non-Facebook users.  While Messenger might not be as full-featured as its Asian counterparts, don’t write it off just yet, as Facebook’s 1.2 billion active users could serve as a starter user base for the service to become as dominant a player in mobile messaging as it is in online social messaging.