We are thrilled by the tremendous growth of people-to-business messaging on Messenger. Currently, there are over 40 million active businesses messaging people across the globe. Our developer community has grown to over 300,000 members, and people and businesses are exchanging over 20 billion messages each month.
We just announced the arrival of the lighter, faster version of Messenger. With this next iteration of Messenger, our goal is to keep the app size under 30 MB which will present an opportunity for developers to build new, streamlined solutions on our platform.
We've also built products to bridge the gap between online and offline, providing businesses unique functionality that leverages the power of Messenger. We are proud to introduce a new set of solutions aimed to make it easier for businesses to drive in-store traffic, generate leads, and provide customer care. These are plug-and-play solutions that any business can put to use and developers can build upon.
We recognize that appointment booking is a common way that people and businesses are already interacting on our platform, so we built a dedicated solution that can be integrated with a business’ calendaring system to provide people with the most up-to-date appointment availability. A new standard calendar interface makes it easier for people to select an available appointment and add it to their preferred calendar. A reminder keeps the appointments top of mind for people and also enables them to make changes or cancel directly in the conversation, allowing for real-time updates to the business' calendar.
Appointment booking functionality is currently in Beta and will be available more broadly later this year. Sign up for Beta here.
In the coming months, we're going to make it even easier for advertisers to run lead generation campaigns in Messenger by adding a lead generation template directly into Ads Manager. Leads will be qualified via an automated question and answer flow within Messenger and people will be able to input their answers easily with quick reply buttons. There will be handoff functionality for seamless transitions from automation to a live agent. Natural drop-off can be curbed with customized reminders and submitted leads can be accessed via manual downloads, CRM integration, or Pages Inbox.
We will also be launching a new capability for m.me links - Authentication. This will allow businesses to direct customers who are already authenticated on a mobile app or website seamlessly into a Messenger thread and create an instantly personalized experience. Easy Authentication will complement the existing account linking platform feature and will help businesses handle common care issues such as billing inquiries, refunds, and more.
As you can see, big changes are coming your way this year. We're excited to see how these changes help you connect businesses with their customers over Messenger in new ways. As always, we are here to support you and look forward to seeing what you build.