More than half this country apparently uses Facebook's Messenger

Messenger is big Down Under.

Image: Mashable/lili sams

Messenger sure is popular Down Under.

Facebook revealed its first country-specific stats for the instant messaging platform, claiming 13 million Australians use Messenger each month. 

That’s more than half the country’s population, and 80 percent of smartphone users, according to data from Statista.

The popularity of Messenger in Australia is why Facebook has identified it as a key market. It’s why it’ll be one of the first countries outside of the U.S. to launch the Discover tab on Messenger, which puts bots from businesses and publishers within reach on the app.

Some of the Aussie-centric bots set to feature on the platform include ABC News, which provides daily news digests and breaking news alerts; Domain, for house prices and property news; and the Australian Football League (AFL), for ticket information, match previews, scores and fixtures.

France, Egypt, Nigeria, Morocco and Philippines will also join Australia in being next to launch Discover outside of the U.S.

Image: facebook

“With over 200,000 bots on the Messenger platform, the Discover tab enables people to find businesses they love as well as browse new Messenger experiences they might not have known about otherwise,” Sophie Blachford, Brand Development Lead at Messenger, said in a statement. 

“And for businesses, this is a powerful new surface to connect with an engaged audience.”

Facebook claims 1.3 billion people use Messenger each month, competing very closely with its other messaging platform, WhatsApp, which hit 1.3 billion monthly active users back in July. 0c4c 8ecb%2fthumb%2f00001