Facebook Details Focus For Business Messaging At F8

Facebook made several announcements at its F8 annual developer conference on Wednesday for Instagram and WhatsApp. This year the conference went virtual, and the news focused on delivering information to developers without a flashy, Hollywood style.

All businesses can now use the Messenger API to interact with users on Instagram. The feature, first announced in October, now is opening first to all developers globally, with a phased approach for businesses.

L’Oréal Malaysia integrated Messenger API on Instagram and experienced a 30% increase in qualified leads compared with other channels, and a 20% increase in conversions. As a result, the company improved the registration time for beauty consultations.

Facebook data shows that 90% of people on Instagram follow at least one business. Many users interact directly with brands.

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People contact businesses in a variety of ways, from phone calls to email and sending messages. With the API, businesses can now use the same API they use for other channels to respond to people on Instagram.

Developers can give users one platform to respond and reach out to businesses, rather than force them to jump from one app to another. Messenger API can be integrated into any third-party application that a company or brand might use to manage their communication with consumers.

The first phase of the rollout allows Instagram accounts with between 10,000 and 100,000 followers to connect to the API. The second phase will allow accounts with followers between 1,000 and 100,000 to join in July, with the remaining accounts to follow by the third quarter of 2021.

WhatsApp supports more than 50 million customers on its business app, and thousands use the company’s API to answer questions and provide support.

Some businesses have integrated the API directly into the app, but most are brought on through a business solutions provider. About 175 million people message a WhatsApp business account daily.

Some of the updates announced included messaging features so businesses can respond more quickly to users, more controls, and ways for developers to get started faster.

List Messages, for example, will give users a chance to choose from up to 10 pre-written messages to communicate with a business while chatting through WhatsApp. The focus has also sharpened on ecommerce. The app will offer end-to-end commerce tools, and will allow users to add items to a cart and quickly place an order. The goal is to bring payments to the app.

Facebook also will add another tool to Messenger, Facebook Login Connect, which will allow users to log into their app or website using their Facebook credentials, and then converse with the company on Messenger.

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