Some questioned why the company was competing with its own acquisition, Whats App, bought two months earlier for what was then billion (£12.5bn).
The Chinese have already shown what's possible: social media giant Tencent enables 600 million people each month to book taxis, check in for flights, play games, buy cinema tickets, manage banking, reserve doctors' appointments, donate to charity and video-conference all without leaving Weixin, the Chinese version of its app."The messaging era is definitely now," Marcus says.
"It's the one thing people do more than anything else on their phone.
Some people were surprised when I joined Facebook, but it's because I believe that messaging is the next big platform.
This article was first published in the November 2015 issue of WIRED magazine.
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Beneath a yawning seven-metre-high Frank Gehry ceiling -- its outer shell covered by a 3.5-hectare Mark Zuckerberg-devised giant rooftop park; its pristine 40,000-square-metre interior decorated with posters imploring staff to "Move Fast And Break Things" and "Think Wrong" - David Marcus, a former president of Pay Pal, is calmly explaining to WIRED what he calls "one of the biggest opportunities in tech in the next ten years".
is up to 700 million actives, with more than a billion Android downloads - yet his team of 200 has taken what Marcus calls mere "baby steps" towards the ultimate ambition of building the company's next great global platform.
In terms of time spent, attention, retention - this is where it's happening.
And it's a once in a generation opportunity to build it." Or, as Zuckerberg acknowledged in a public Q&A last November, "Messaging is one of the few things that people do more than social networking." And, after initially being slow to respond to the rise of mobile - which he sought to make up by buying Whats App and Instagram - he wasn't now going to let Facebook fall into second place.
began as a simple messaging app for i OS and Android in August 2011.
In April 2014, it was separated from the main Facebook app; users would have to download it separately to collect mobile messages.