At Facebook’s F8 Developer Conference in San Francisco, the company unleashed a new platform for users (and businesses) to use the Messenger app in all-new ways. The Messenger platform allows all kinds of third-party apps to integrate with the app, so that you can send GIFs, track packages, manage orders, and more.
Here are a couple of the different possibilities for Messenger that Facebook revealed in its opening keynote.
Send GIFs, custom scenes, and more with Messenger
Announced during Mark Zuckerberg’s keynote address, Facebook’s Messenger Platform is the first deep integration of third-party apps into Messenger, which is used by more than 600 million people each month. The program launches with more than a dozen different apps that let you send all sorts of customized, animated content. Whether it’s a fun GIF, your favorite meme, or a video clip, all kinds of rich content is coming soon to brighten up your Messenger conversations.
Users can start installing third-party apps very soon, which will allow them to share even more content directly on Messenger, instead of linking to everything. Other friends and family on Messenger won’t need the app to view the content either, but can install it to send their own GIFs and videos in reply.
Track orders and get support with Messenger
Another big addition to the Messenger Platform is its integration with third-party apps for businesses. When we open an account and order something with a brand or business, we often have to also monitor our email account for a bunch of emails with our account information, order information, tracking information, and so on. All this info comes in separates emails that get sorted along with all our other mail.
These messages often get lost in the swirling vortex of our overfull inboxes, but with Facebook’s new Messenger Platform, brands can handle all of this through Messenger. Their brand name will appear as a contact in your inbox, just like messages from your friends and family already do.
When you make a purchase while logged into Facebook on your phone or computer, the website will ask if you want to track the purchase using Facebook Messenger. If you accept, everything will be handled through a single Facebook Messenger bubble, rather than a slew of emails. You can even contact the company with support requests to change an order, request a return, or anything else you may need.
The messaging service will integrate with Zendesk, a popular customer support platform, to allow businesses to easily manage customer questions and requests that come through their Facebook Messenger page. You can even add to your current order or request a change in the thread.
There’s nothing out there quite like this new integration with Facebook Messenger, which combines the convenience of live chat with the reliability of email services. Facebook is launching its new business functionality with two partners: Everlane and Zulily. There’s no word yet on any other potential brands on board, such as the shopping giant Amazon. Nonetheless, it’s clear Facebook has big plans to bring interactivity to Messenger this year.