F8 2019 has been and gone.
At the annual developer conference Facebook let us all in on their upcoming plans and what they think is important for brands leveraging social media to know.
Jumper had a strong presence at F8 this year and managed to get the inside scoop on a couple of key developments. We’ve separated the developments into two different articles here on the Jumper blog.
This piece focuses on the developments that are important for brands leveraging Messenger.
Messenger Desktop App
Apple is currently providing the biggest competition to Facebook’s Messenger and Whatsapp.
iMessage has a native desktop app for Macs, and thanks to FaceTime you’re able to video chat from any of your connected devices.
To make the space a little more competitive, Facebook is creating a desktop specific interface for the Messenger app.
That means no more logging into your Facebook account or Messenger.com.
In addition, this app will allow users to make video calls to individuals and groups taking the functionality far beyond the current web browser model.
Facebook report that video chat on Messenger has grown 40% YoY so this is a great way to offer better service to users. It’ll be interesting to see how savvy marketers will better leverage the desktop version of Messenger.
Common Messaging Between Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram.
The Messenger desktop app is a huge leap forward. However, it doesn’t help if the majority of your friends or customers don’t use the channel.
To tackle this, Facebook is creating a common messaging feature between their three biggest properties, Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram.
With this feature, you’ll be able to send messages to people across networks. It also includes video calling and file sharing.
Again, this is great for the user as you won’t have to be on the same network as your friends, but it throws up some interesting opportunities for marketers too.
Messenger Lead Gen Ads
A while back Facebook introduced lead gen ads. Ads that allow the user to opt-in to your ebook, email list, or lead magnet directly from Facebook.
Due to the streamlined journey, they tend to convert at a higher rate than your usual ad > landing page conversion campaign.
Well, Facebook are once again streamlining the journey by making these experiences available on Messenger.
The ads will perform similarly to the lead gen ads you’re familiar with, however, after engaging the user will be entered into an automatic chatbot chat.
You’ll be able to customize this to ask qualifying questions. This should further streamline the opt-in journey and hopefully lead to a higher conversion rate for brands.
Appointment Bookings in Messenger
Messenger will soon see the introduction of an interface allowing users to book appointments through chat.
The interface will integrate with calendar systems (think Calendly type services) so users can see a business’ available hours and book a time slot that’s convenient for them.
WhatsApp Business Catalog
Businesses using WhatsApp to communicate with customers can already display their business description and key information in their profile.
Facebook is improving the functionality of this and increasing the breadth of information you’re able to display.
Brands will soon be able to display their entire product catalogs directly within their profiles simplifying the path to purchase for consumers.
This will be a huge benefit for brands selling to markets like India which is WhatsApp’s largest market.
Page Level Subscription Messaging Requirements
A while ago Facebook introduced an application for brands to send broadcast messages. It was a pretty simple application that aimed to reduce the number of brands spamming users with nothing but promotional messages.
They’re now enforcing that rule and tightening the requirements.
Approved apps that could once allow you to bypass the rules are no longer enough. You need to apply and get your page approved to send broadcast messages.
There’s not much news yet on the requirements, but if our previous test is any indication it shouldn’t be too hard to get the green light. We’re running more tests and trying to get an answer from Facebook on what’s needed. As soon as we find out, you’ll be able to find the answer here on the blog.
That’s it for important Messenger news. There’ll be another piece up on the blog shortly about the wider Facebook and social marketing issues.
See you then!