At the start of May, Facebook held its yearly F8 convention. This convention is the place Facebook discusses the general way forward for the platform and unveils its upcoming developments and options to builders, entrepreneurs, and different professionals.
This yr, Facebook introduced quite a few enhancements to its Messenger service, in addition to new, marketing-focused options.
These adjustments and additions to the messaging platform are essential to study, significantly with regards to how they’ll affect our current advertising and marketing efforts.
Let’s see what’s coming to Facebook Messenger and the way we will start making ready and strategizing for these adjustments.
1. Messenger Desktop App
This is maybe the least essential replace, however nonetheless value mentioning. Facebook is making a desktop app for Messenger.
The motive I don’t discover this transformation that life-changing for companies is as a result of you’ll be able to already use Messenger on a desktop gadget. Simply log into Facebook and head over to your messages.
However, Facebook did point out that one of many major capabilities and targets behind this desktop model of Messenger can be as a collaboration software.
The desktop Messenger empowers groups to “have video calls, collaborate on projects or multitask while chatting.”
We might start seeing Messenger used extra with groups to share concepts and have weekly conferences.
2. Lighter, Faster, Leaner
Facebook is redesigning its Messenger app to be quicker and fewer strenuous on gadget storage. They’ve labeled the mission “LightSpeed,” and the purpose is a Messenger app that launches in underneath 2 seconds and requires solely 30MB to set up.
To obtain this, they’ve “rebuilt from the ground up on an entirely new code base,” which implies we’ll have a Messenger app that’s simply extra optimized for at the moment’s want for quick loading and immediacy.
While this may occasionally not have a direct impact on advertising and marketing, we might see extra folks utilizing Messenger with this lighter, quicker app. Not solely as a result of the velocity will probably be extra aligned with what is predicted at the moment, particularly within the cell atmosphere, but in addition as a result of it’s 70MB smaller than the previous Messenger.
This makes it simpler for folks with low storage on their gadgets to discover house to home the app. And offers much more motive for companies to have a look into Messenger bots and funnels.
three. Close Friends Groups
One future function that might be troubling to companies is shut associates teams.
It’s unclear what the official title for this function will probably be, however the focus is to assist Facebook customers have a “dedicated space” to join and share content material with their closest family and friends.
Users have been in a position to designate an in depth associates checklist up to now and even see a feed of solely content material posted by members of this group. The distinction with this new function is privateness.
Facebook needs its customers to give you the option to share content material with shut associates and with out the worry that others will see, or that it might be held in opposition to them sooner or later.
Based on early screenshots, it seems that customers can create a number of teams. This is one other distinction from the “Close Friends” function of yesterday, the place customers had solely a single checklist.
In this sense, these teams really feel like a way more enhanced group chat with a heavier deal with content material, over plain textual content communication.
It wasn’t made clear if companies will be included in these teams, and even create their very own. I actually hope so, particularly the latter, as a result of this has plenty of potential as a strong advertising and marketing channel. It would permit a enterprise to talk with a direct group of particular prospects or viewers phase.
Another means I see this being actually impactful is for companies with a number of retailer places or branches. Groups might be created for every location to permit these particular person branches to talk and share content material instantly to their native prospects.
While that is doable, with location-specific Facebook pages, it will be a way more seamless expertise with this group function. Plus, we wouldn’t have to battle with the shortage of natural posts displaying in News Feeds.
Alternatively, B2B entrepreneurs might use these teams as a handy, devoted house when speaking with all events at a potential consumer’s firm.
four. Better Group Video Viewing
Communal video watching is a rising pattern. The proof is within the success of streaming platforms like Twitch, with 15 million every day energetic customers, and YouTube’s thriving group.
People have a need to watch motion pictures and have interaction with the content material creator and different viewers. Facebook additionally has its eyes on enhancing their customers’ means to interact with video content material collectively.
We’ve first seen this present itself on Facebook via dwell streaming.
Then, final July, Facebook created Watch Parties. This function allowed teams to host a Watch Party, the place customers view and chat about site-hosted movies collectively and in real-time. These events create far more engagement, as excessive as 8x the feedback than a traditional video posted to Facebook.
For Facebook, the logical subsequent step for Watch Party and communal video watching is Messenger. According to Facebook, customers will, “be able to seamlessly share a video from the Facebook app on Messenger and invite others to watch together while messaging or on a video chat.”
This will probably be a extremely highly effective software, particularly mixed with the Messenger desktop app. One of the principle capabilities for Messenger on desktop will probably be group video calls.
The additional benefit of having the ability to collectively watch movies collectively will probably be nice for inside enterprise resolution making, but in addition advertising and marketing.
As of now, you’ll be able to add six folks to a messenger group video chat, however up to an extra 50 folks can tune into the chat. While they received’t give you the option to discuss, they’ll give you the option to take up the video content material with the group and see the conversations happening.
Essentially, we’ll give you the option to dwell stream our desktop or a chunk of video content material to an intimate viewers and share further insights through chat.
This might be a brand new kind of webinar platform, one shoppers can be extra snug logging into.
5. Messenger Lead Ads Templates & Appointment Booking
I’ve saved the perfect for final. This replace has probably the most quick advertising and marketing potential for companies.
Here is Facebook’s breakdown of this growth:
“We’re making it even easier for businesses to connect with potential customers by adding lead generation templates to Ads Manager. There, businesses can easily create an ad which drives people to a simple Q&A in Messenger to learn more about their customers. And to make it easier to book an appointment with businesses like car dealerships, stylists, or cleaning services, we’ve created an appointment experience so people can book appointments within a Messenger conversation.”
This signifies that companies can simply use Facebook and Messenger to qualify leads via the Q&A, after which convert them through an appointment reserving.
The course of is basically automated and Facebook has added extra templates and responses to assist give the phantasm of an actual customer support agent.
That stated, this function isn’t really a chatbot. So, there might be some points with open-ended responses or longer person inputs. In these circumstances, the lead will be handed on to a dwell, human agent.
Also, if a enterprise chooses to put money into a Messenger bot with increased functionality, it might open up much more alternatives to make the most of this function and to a a lot better impact.
The means to seamlessly transfer prospects from their Facebook feed, to a Messenger chat and e-book them an appointment actually delivers on the omnichannel expertise that customers are more and more anticipating from their favourite manufacturers and companies.
Facebook is slowly rolling out the appointment reserving options to completely different enterprise varieties. Stay tuned for your alternative!
Conclusions on the New Facebook Messenger Features
Facebook is placing plenty of deal with privateness right here and enhancing connections between “closest friends” versus all the cyber net.
On the floor, this may occasionally really feel troubling to companies and create a way that they’re going to be overlooked of a very powerful actions that Facebook and Messenger customers are collaborating in.
In actuality, these options open up new advertising and marketing doorways and even current some contemporary channels with large potential affect.
Screenshot taken by creator, June 2019