Facebook’s Developer Conference, F8, kicked off on April 30 and continues through May 1. The news from the conference is massive, especially for Facebook Messenger marketing.
Everything is changing with Facebook Messenger marketing, and it’s crucial that marketers stay aware of these radical shifts.
There are eight specific things you need to know. For each one of these points, we’ve provided a brief takeaway for marketers.
1. Facebook’s Focus is on Facebook Messenger
A huge portion of the conference was given over to one subject — Facebook Messenger.
Over the past few months, it has been apparent that Facebook is shifting much of their developing power and marketing prowess towards Messenger.
During the conference keynotes, speakers held nothing back in promoting, enhancing, and pushing Messenger to the front of the conversation. Facebook Messenger is the future of Facebook.
Ever since its beginning, it’s been common to describe the Facebook app as Facebook’s “core product.” Now, it looks like that is changing. One of the biggest shifts, described in number two below, is that the crumbling News Feed is giving way to a more intimate news feed-style approach, but one that is part of the Messenger app, not the Facebook app!
All of this is good for marketers. If you’re a MobileMonkey user, you’re aware of the nuclear power of Facebook Messenger marketing. Mix in some carefully-crafted chatbots, and the world is your marketing oyster.
Facebook knows this — that businesses stand to benefit from the increased status of Messenger. Heck, they engineered it to be so!
After all, Facebook is a B2C company. Consumers don’t give them money. Facebook gets its revenue from businesses. The primacy of Messenger is Facebook’s new play that will benefit both Facebook as a company and businesses marketing to consumers.
In this spirit, Facebook gave a nod to the developers who are playing a critical role in pushing the app forward. (Check out MobileMonkey: 4th row down, second from the right.)
Takeaway: Facebook Messenger marketing continues to be the area of strongest marketing opportunity for the foreseeable future. Be sure to take advantage of the power of Facebook Messenger chatbots, Facebook Messenger tools, Facebook Messenger ads, and other Facebook Messenger hacks.
2. Messenger is being redesigned as a dedicated place for close connections.
Messenger will become almost like a secondary social network, but one that is only for close friends and family.
The second tab within Messenger will contain a feed (of sorts) that has only information and updates from close friends and loved ones. This is the new place to share status updates, view stories, and hold watch parties.
Takeaway: Customers will most likely be spending far more time within Messenger than before, devoting their time in the app to interacting with their closest connections. Businesses using Messenger chatbots have the inside track to interacting with customers within this more personal social experience.
3. Facebook Messenger is getting way faster.
Facebook calls it Operation Lightspeed — the mission to make Facebook Messenger faster and lighter. The updated Messenger app will take up less space, require less battery, and boast improved reliability.
Takeaway: Messenger will have an improved user experience, causing users to use it with greater frequency and longer duration. Businesses gain an advantage since their potential customers will have higher levels of engagement, leading to more successful Facebook Messenger marketing.
4. Messenger will have end-to-end encryption by default.
Facebook has had some privacy debacles in the past, but they are working hard to move past those mistakes and create an intensely private future.
To that end, Messenger will have default end-to-end encryption by the end of the year.
Takeaway: With end-to-end encryption, Messenger users will feel more secure on the app, and thus will transfer that feeling of security to the businesses with which they engage.
5. Messenger users can message contacts on WhatsApp and Instagram (and vice versa).
We already knew this, but it’s still cool to get excited about it. After all, this move radically expands the reach of all three messaging platforms.
Takeaway: It’s clear that businesses have massive potential with the move towards interoperability. It’s unclear what this actually looks like in praxis. Either way, it will be important for marketers to understand and gain familiarity with all three platforms.
6. Messenger is getting a desktop app.
Finally! WhatsApp has had one for a while, and now it’s Messenger’s turn.
Messenger’s desktop app might be a latecomer, but it will be a welcome addition to Messenger’s functionality.
Takeaway: The new desktop app may change how people use and interact with the app, possibly increasing the time that users spend or the way that they engage. Marketers should use the desktop app as soon as it’s available to experience the look and feel of how customers will be interacting with messages.
7. Messenger will provide businesses with lead generation templates in Ads Manager.
Advertising is getting a whole new lift with the addition of lead generation templates for businesses. These will be available in Ads Manager. Businesses can create Messenger ads that drive customers to a Messenger Q&A sequence, thus segmenting customers and giving customers a superior experience with that business.
Here’s exactly how Facebook described the change in their Newsroom post:
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 that drives people to a simple Q&A in Messenger to learn more about their customers
Takeaway: We have a lot of questions about technical details, but we can be certain that Facebook wants businesses to succeed with customers in the redesigned Messenger experience.
8. Messenger will natively support appointment booking with businesses.
Messenger will make lead generation better for businesses. Messenger will support the integrated ability for customers to set appointments with businesses. There’s no need for an outside integration anymore. The creation of an appointment between business and customer will happen natively within Messenger.
Takeaway: Obviously, this is huge for businesses. Whether you’re scheduling a real estate showing, a personal training appointment, a hair styling session, or a restaurant reservation, appointment setting directly between business and customer will streamline and enhance the customer/business relationship.
Facebook Messenger Marketing – Bottom Line Takeaways
Messenger is changing – from the very purpose of the app itself to its look and feel, it’s undergoing a thorough evolution.
The Facebook Messenger evolution favors businesses and marketers. And, more to the point, it favors the businesses and marketers who are taking full advantage of Messenger chatbots.
Here are three things you can do right now:
- Sign up for MobileMonkey and build your first Facebook Messenger chatbot today. In this game, early adopters win.
- Get top-rated Facebook Messenger marketing tips via Facebook Messenger.
- Join MobileMonkey Island and ask questions and get answers alongside thousands of other chatbot marketers in the Facebook community.