After hitting the milestone 1 billion number in July of last year, Facebook has today announced that its messaging service “Messenger” has hit 1.2 billion monthly active users (MAUs). The announcement was made by David A. Marcus, Vice President of Messaging Products at Facebook, when he posted a graphic on his Facebook profile.

Marcus was speaking to TechCrunch following the announcement when he said that the 1.2 billion monthly active users aside, engagement on the platform, that is number of messages sent on average by an active user, had witnessed growth in the double-digits in the last eight months since July. He also went on to add that Messenger is now an essential part of the users’ daily lives as it acts as the “primary communications channel” for some users, and a place where people “find their Facebook friends they don’t have a number” for others.

Before July, it was in February, 2016, when Facebook announced that its messaging mainstay had hit 800 million monthly active users. It was the time when Messenger had started to position itself as a replacement for the ordinary SMS chat app on your Android phone, but before the time that bots were incorporated into Messenger, something Facebook hoped that would spark unprecedented growth not only among regular users, but also businesses. While the latter has not quite worked out like Facebook had hoped for Messenger, the former is well on its way to be achieved.

Group video calling with funky effects in split-screen, Snapchat-esque Stories (that have found their way gradually on every service under Facebook), and the option to pay users in a group-chat individually are some of the features that Messenger hopes will drive more users to its platform in the near future, as it attempts to introduce ads and promoted messages to drive revenue from one of the most popular messaging services currently.