Just months after Facebook opened its Messenger Platform for developers to build bots, it is now enhancing its platform to allow businesses to sell products and services directly to customers.
Businesses can now allow customers to check out with just a few easy clicks, without even leaving the Messenger app. The service will be available for developers as a closed beta. Businesses and developers can apply to be included in the beta while the company is working to broaden its capabilities.
Since the announcement of the Platform in April, over 30,000 bots have been launched that deliver automated customer support, e-commerce guidance, content and interactive experiences.
Through the Messenger Platform’s new Send/Receive API, bots can respond to messages through images, links and call to action buttons.
Shoppers can even use their payment information already stored on Messenger and Facebook to check out faster in Messenger threads.
Announcing the launch of the Messenger Platform v1.2, Facebook said millions of people in over 200 countries have been engaging with businesses on Messenger each day.
From better customer service, to more sophisticated brand and commerce experiences, the chatbots have ushered in a new trend.
“It’s still early days but we have had great feedback from the developer community about the success of many of the experiences they’ve launched. We believe the potential for the Messenger Platform is huge, and we continue to invest in making it better for developers to build and create,” Facebook said in a statement.
From this month, Facebook said, it has begun to roll out Messenger as a destination for News Feed ads. “When advertisers select Messenger as a destination for News Feed ads, they can use any call-to-action in their ad, such as ‘Shop Now’ or ‘Learn more’ to link to Messenger. All clicks on those News Feed ads will directly open up a Messenger thread.”
Not just that, on the Messenger users can even share individual messages with their friends by simply clicking on a share icon attached to a message bubble. This will make sharing of products and getting feedback from friends a painless affair.