Facebook Messenger is adding some big upgrades to its business development capabilities. At the 2018 F8 Developer Conference, the social media giant announced new tools being added to the Messenger Platform for developers to create new user experiences and further turn the platform into a shopping destination and customer support channel.
Businesses on Messenger lets consumers and businesses interact straight from the Messenger app. It can be used as a customer support option to help retain customers and answer their questions. It can also be an avenue to present products to customers, helping them narrow down the perfect product for them in the Marketplace. The platform allows businesses to accept payment right from the messenger. [Facebook for Business: Everything You Need to Know]
The latest capabilities being added to the platform include AR support and translation features.
AR – Augmented reality is coming to the Messenger Platform, with the combined efforts of Facebook's Camera Effects feature and Facebook AR Studio that was introduced last year. Businesses on Messenger can prompt users to open their camera, which can be populated with custom filters and effects themed around your brand. These effects will allow developers to create unique experiences for users, helping them make shopping decisions by displaying a virtual sample of the product in front of them.
Several brands already have their AR experiences ready to go at launch, including Kia, which will allow users to look at a customized car of their choosing in their driveway without having to visit the dealer. Nike will have a feature that gives users a preview of upcoming styles, and Sephora will allow users to virtually sample their makeup and new looks with AR. No timetable was announced for these AR tools' launch, but businesses interested in developing AR experiences with Facebook can sign up for the beta program.
M Suggestions – Messenger is expanding to allow businesses to connect with users all around the world with a new translation feature. M Suggestions will detect different languages between users and offer to translate for them. This is a push for more international commerce through the platform. The feature will launch with English-Spanish translations within the U.S. and add more languages and available locations as the tool develops. Facebook says this feature will begin rolling out to users in the coming weeks.
Businesses on Messenger gives Facebook users direct and immediate access to a wide range of customer support straight from their mobile devices. Designed to be as easy as chatting on Messenger or text messaging, it eliminates the inconvenience and wasted time of being on hold over the phone, waiting for email support or submitting helpdesk tickets. This new feature also helps businesses personalize their service to provide better support and grow sales.
Businesses on Messenger works the same way the Messenger app does: Conversations are presented in one continuous thread, making it easy to see a history of the conversation and keep it going for future interactions.
Businesses don't even have to have customer reps working the Facebook Messenger channel, as the platform supports the use of sophisticated chatbots that are driven by machine learning to be as realistic and user-friendly as possible. You can license out these chatbots to work your channel and increase sales. [How to Increase Sales With Chatbots]
If you haven't already, you can set up your own Facebook Business profile to begin interacting with customers through Messenger. The platform provides a step-by-step launch process to begin creating a conversation platform for your customers, which includes some basic auto-reply settings to help you converse with several customers at once without need of a chatbot.