Whether you like it or not, more than 500 million people have migrated to Facebook's Messenger app.

In late July, the social network dropped chat from the main Facebook app and began forcing users to download the standalone Facebook Messenger application for quick chats. Less than four months later, half a billion users are using it each month to communicate.

"Messaging is an important part of how people stay connected," Peter Martinazzi, director of product management, wrote in a blog post. "Since Messenger launched in 2011 we've been passionate about giving people a faster and more expressive way to communicate."

The company announced in April that it was moving messages out of the Facebook app and into the separate Messenger service. All users carrying an iPhone or Android device have been shifted; the update does not affect iPad users.

According to the social network's FAQ, people tend to reply about 20 percent faster on Messenger than on Facebook.

Those who have made the move now have access to voice calls over Wi-Fi for iOS and Android users in the U.S., Canada, and India, not to mention group creation and message forwarding. It also lets Android owners create shortcuts for easy access to any conversation directly on your home screen.

PC Magazine