Google's been heavily working on improving its Messages app, by enriching it with advanced features such as context-aware recommendations, a dark mode, RCS support, and a web interface. Thanks to these, it's only natural for the software to be one of the most installed messaging apps on the Play Store, as it's in the top 25 communication software on the Play Store according to App Annie. It's actually so popular it's been downloaded more than 500 million times by Android users.
It's essential to bear in mind Messages isn't part of the GMS (Google Mobile Services) package, which means manufacturers often pre-install their own texting app on their phones instead of this one. In fact, only Pixels and Android One devices like Nokia handsets come preloaded with Google apps such as Calendar and Messages. Therefore, this means there are a whole lot of users out there that chose to replace their default messaging software with this one.
If you haven't given Messages a try, download it from the link below, and you probably won't go back to your manufacturer's solution again.