How to Stay on Top of Facebook Messenger Upcoming Changes
This year marked Facebook’s 10th F8 conference where creators, innovators, developers, and entrepreneurs reunited to discuss the future of technology. This two-day event offered networking possibilities, product demos, and so much more. It also allowed Facebook to discuss its platform and disclose its upcoming updates and features to the public. The major highlight of this conference was the upcoming change in its Messenger service along with additional marketing-focused features. We’ve investigated these changes to see how they will influence the marketing world and put together our findings so that you can be better prepared for what’s to come from Facebook.
A Lighter, Faster Messenger with Project Lightspeed
The goal of the changes is to make Messenger faster and lighter. Better device storage which allows your Messenger app to launch in two seconds is what Lightspeed is aiming for with iOS users. The new update set to debut later this year will only take 30MB to install instead of its current weight of over 100MB. There are currently no plans to bring it to Android where Messenger Lite has been available since 2015. As Facebook is shifting its focus to private messaging, it makes sense that the company is rebuilding from the ground up on an entirely new codebase to improve speed and ease of use. This improvement may not directly impact the marketing world, but more people are expected to use Messenger with this lighter version. This upgrade will give businesses more reason to take a look into its bots and funnels.
Get Closer to Friends and Family
Connections are what make Messenger unique in the public’s eye. Messenger announced there will now be ‘close friends’ groups where you can “easily find content from people you message the most.” No specifics were shared on this new feature as its currently being developed and the official name is still unclear. Another excellent feature of this new update is increased privacy. Share content through stories, images, and videos in multiple group chats with your closest friends and family without anyone else seeing it. Nothing was mentioned about businesses being included in any of those groups or if they will be able to create their own. This highlight could cause concern for some businesses.
Improved and Intimate Video Viewing
Video is also becoming increasingly valuable in today’s growing society as 410M people connect via video chat on Messenger each month. Messenger’s new video feature will allow people to watch videos together in real-time and message/video chat simultaneously in Messenger, making Facebook more of a video destination. The feature will let you share videos and invite others to watch along with you and trade your reactions. This feature is expected to arrive later this year. Businesses could benefit from this tool as they’ll be able to collectively watch videos together, which could be useful for internal business decision making.
The company also highlighted a desktop Messenger app that’s coming up later this year. It’s basically the same messenger mobile app but suitable for Windows and macOS. Messenger desktop is reportedly being tested as of now. This new feature will allow you to message from any device while having group video calls, collaborating on projects or multitasking while chatting. Even though you can already access Messenger on a desktop by only clicking your messages on Facebook, the desktop version is to be used as a collaboration tool.
Messenger Lead Ads Templates & Appointment Booking
This update will have a significant impact on businesses. Messenger is making it easier for companies to connect with customers or potential customers on Messenger. You can now build a conversational chat platform with businesses with a question-and-answer (Q&A). [su_quote cite=”Asha Sharma, Head of Messenger Consumer Products”]”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.”[/su_quote] It allows businesses to efficiently serve their contacts and customers with a personalized approach while answering their most asked questions. People will also be able to use Messenger to book appointments with businesses through an appointment booking surface. This will sync with the business’ calendar, so you can see the next appointment date available. Both appointment booking and lead ad templates in Messenger are still being tested but will be available later this year. These new tools are sure to streamline and enhance the customer/business relationship.
Final Thoughts on the New Messenger Tools
Facebook Messenger continues to be an area of lucrative marketing opportunities. Businesses should be taking advantage of their various tools to get a leg up on the competition and succeed in their digital marketing efforts. It’s clear that messaging and communication are definitely where Facebook is putting its focus. All of these features are presently under testing, and although no solid dates have been released on when the new Messenger will roll out, it appears to be around the corner – so keep an eye out!