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It is now official that Facebook Messenger is one of the most popular smartphone apps in the United States, just second to the main Facebook app for mobile devices.

This is somehow contradicting with the reception this application received when it was first introduced as a standalone application for chatting. In essence, the introduction of Messenger meant that users of the Facebook for mobile app could no longer access instant chats via the mobile app instead; they had to go through the main website application or download and install Facebook Messenger. Many complained but still installed this app on their phones, an act that has turned out to be a success for this social networking giant.

Facebook’s move is finally paying off

Last summer, Facebook Messenger was forced onto the smartphones of millions of people by thecompany behind it. Since the app became a standalone client in 2011, it has never received such a huge number of downloads. In fact, this is the first time that Messenger has surpassed Google’s YouTube as far as the number of downloads is concerned.

A new report released by comScore listed Facebook Messenger as the second most popular app with a percentage reach of about 59.5%. This is just 0.2% more than what YouTube manages on either iOS or Android devices.

Facebook and Google are dominant players in U.S. mobile app market

Facebook Messenger initially demanded that all users must, first of all, have an account with the main Facebook site. This move was somehow compelling users who did not want any association with the social networking site to sign up for it. However, the good news is that Facebook made way for signing up for an account using a phone number. This is perhaps one thing that has contributed to the bulging numbers in the Messenger camp.

When you take a closer look at the comScore report, it is obvious that Facebook and Google are top dogs as far as the U.S. mobile app market is concerned. From the list of top 10 smartphone apps with the highest reach, all but two are owned by either Google or Facebook.

Other than Facebook app and Facebook Messenger, the social networking giant also boasts Instagram at number 9 with a reach of 38.7%. On the other hand, Google has YouTube, Google Search, Google Play, Google Maps and Gmail on this list. The list is completed by Pandora Radio and Yahoo Stocks.

One of the most notable miss-out of the list is WhatsApp, an app that is owned by Facebook. This messaging app is very popular, but only in Asia and other parts of the world. This comScore report only takes into account the popularity of the app in the United States.

Now that Facebook seems to be achieving the targeted numbers in the Messenger niche, the developers of the app have turned their focus on introducing new features and services. Just recently, Facebook