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Facebook F8: New Tools for Messenger

author image Written by: Rob May           Categories - In The News

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.

Image from www.messengernews.fb.com
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.

Image from www.messengernews.fb.com
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.

Messenger Desktop

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.

Image from www.messengernews.fb.com

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). ”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.” 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.

Image from www.socialmediatoday.com
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!

Rob May

Facebook Removes Support For Podcasts

05/03/2022

Facebook is ditching podcasts and plans to stop offering them from June 3.

The social-media giant will no longer allow users to add podcasts to the service as of this week but plans to remove them altogether starting June. Both its short-form audio product Soundbites and the central audio hub will be discontinued, Bloomberg reports.

These options were first introduced last April, as part of Facebook’s broader effort to promote social audio. That’s when Meta presented a range of upcoming podcast options: on-page display tools and direct connection options. Both were supposed to let Facebook users listen to podcasts from within the app without leaving it. In June, Meta launched its podcast support tools, with several launch partners.

Now, not even a year later, Facebook is shifting its focus to other initiatives.

We’re constantly evaluating the features we offer so we can focus on the most meaningful experiences – a Meta spokesperson said in an email sent to Bloomberg. The person allegedly added that they don’t have a specific date on when Soundbites and the audio hub would shut down but it will be in the “coming weeks.”

Facebook will also cut the site’s Soundbites and Audio hubs and integrate its Live Audio Rooms feature into its broader Facebook Live suite. They also said they will not warn users of this, but will rather let creators break the news how they see fit.

Why the change? Probably because they need to save some money:

After the start of COVID, the acceleration of e-commerce led to outsized revenue growth, but we’re now seeing that trend back off. However, based on the strong revenue growth we saw in 2021, we kicked off several 2 multi-year projects to accelerate some of our longer-term investments, especially in our AI infrastructure, business platform, and Reality Labs. These investments are going to be important for our success and growth over time so I continue to believe we should see them through. But with our current business growth levels, we’re now planning to slow the pace of some of our investments.

This might not be a big deal and some significant news for everyone, but as Andrew Hutchinson from Social Media Today noticed, it shows how Facebook’s focus can easily shift and ‘betray’ the creators that use the platform. What does that mean for future Meta visitors and builders?

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Facebook Launches New Novi Pilot

12/14/2021

Earlier this week, Meta launched a new trial version of the Novi digital wallet – this time, for use via the Whatsapp mobile app. Users in USA and Guatemala can now send and receive money right in their WhatsApp mobile app.

You might be wondering what the Novi app even is. Well, remember when Facebook announced the rebranding, the Metaverse, and how it will touch every product they build? It turns out this could be a part of it all.

Novi is a digital wallet that should enable people to send and receive money internationally without leaving their homes. There are no fees, and the process doesn’t last long. It uses blockchain technology and a digital currency called USDP – a cryptocurrency of Paxos – a coin that uses the Etherium blockchain technology and is attached to the U.S. dollar. So, 1 USDP = 1 USD.

According to Facebook, or Meta, if you will, Novi has been developed to enable fee-free, cross-country money transfers. If you decide to sign up, you will need a valid government ID and a video selfie. Then, you can add money to the account using your debit card and your contact list.

Things you should know

Novi is officially a regulated financial company from Facebook, but also has built-in protection against fraud and constant monitoring for suspicious activity. Yet, some regulators are hesitant to give Facebook more power and influence, especially considering the amount of user data they have access to.

For them, it seems that adding payment options is a step too far. That’s why Novi acts independently from Meta and wants to distance itself as much as possible, to maximize acceptance. Using Novi on Whatsapp won’t change Whatsapp’s privacy settings and should be completely safe, according to Facebook.

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