Facebook’s Messenger app was the most downloaded title in Apple’s App Store and Google Play in August, overtaking the social networking giant’s main app, according to the latest figures from App Annie.

The development comes after Facebook’s decision to remove the messaging functionality from its core app, meaning users had to download Messenger to continue to use the service.

Downloads for Messenger surged in July, taking it past WhatsApp – which Facebook is set to buy – with the trend continuing throughout August in both the App Store and Google Play.

Growth for the Android version of Messenger was driven by the US, India and Brazil, where Facebook has seen particularly strong growth in mobile users.

The social networking company said in April that it would remove messaging features from its main smartphone app in order to drive take-up of Messenger.  This was part of a wider move to spin-out more features from Facebook into separate apps.

In recent months it has launched a number of standalone titles, including Paper and Slingshot, as well as a number of apps from the Facebook-owned Instagram, Hyperlapse and Bolt.

Interestingly, the move to bolster Messenger makes it more of a competitor to WhatsApp, the messaging market leader which Facebook is buying in a $19 billion deal, and which Reuters reported today will win unconditional EU regulatory approval.

Despite offering similar functionality, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are popular in different parts of the world.

Music strength

The other noticeable trend in August was a number of music titles making significant strides in terms of revenue.

App Annie noted that Apple’s recently-acquired Beats Music helped the company solidify its position in the market. The app was featured in the list of titles shown to new iOS device owners, and also appeared at the top of the “Apps Made by Apple” list.

Spotify arrived in the top 10 revenue chart for iOS in seventh place, boosted by the recent inclusion of in-app purchases in its iOS app. Pandora, meanwhile, rose to second place in the Google Play revenue charts.