Facebook Messenger becomes more business friendly (FB)

The new version, called Messenger Platform 2.2, introduces new customer chat features for businesses and improves upon existing engagement tools.

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Facebook has unveiled an update to its Messenger Platform following the company’s Q3 2017 earnings call last week,accordingto VentureBeat.

This marks the latest of several recent updates to the platform that aid the company’s efforts to make Messenger more appealing to businesses. Facebook in Aprilunveileda slew of tools with its Messenger 2.0 update — Discover Tab, Chat Extensions, Smart Replies, and M suggestions — designed specifically to help businesses gain visibility and reach a larger audience.

Developing Messenger into a business communications hub is a major focus for Facebook. Messenger can be an integral tool for business-to-consumer (B2C) communications, as it offers the 65 million active businesses globally on its platform an easy and seamless communications channel to reach its 1.3 billion monthly active users. That’s because users are already shifting to chat apps for B2C interactions — 54% of US social media users prefer messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger over email, phone, and online chat, when it comes to communicating with brands.

Providing businesses with the tools to increase interactions with consumers will help Messenger become a major businesses communication channel. Here’s how the latest update will help Facebook with this endeavor:

  • It enables integration of customer conversations on Messenger with a business’ own digital properties.
  • closed beta
  • It allows businesses to move beyond one-on-one conversations and broadcast messages to a group of consumers.
  • Broadcast API
  • It expands built-in natural language processing (NLP) to 10 new languages.

Messenger’s budding prominence as a channel for B2C conversations will likely give it an edge over rivals. Apple this year announced iOS Business Chat, which fosters B2C interactions via iMessage, and in September, WhatsApp unveiled plans to introduce verified accounts to help businesses engage with consumers.

And on Monday, Salesforce announced plans to integrate chatbots to its Einstein AI platform to provide businesses with the ability to send services to its customers. As the race heats up, Messenger’s continued rollout of advanced features will likely position it to lead the evolution of B2C interactions.

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