In early 2015 Facebook announced its decision to give Facebook Messenger a whole new identity. To this end it separated it from the Facebook app. Now the Messenger app can do a lot more than just sending and receiving messages. In fact, industry experts believe that it will create a platform unlike anything that social media has seen before. And why is it important to your business, you ask. Well, Facebook Messenger is only a sign of the things to come and how the face of social commerce is getting ready for yet another dramatic change.
So What Can You Do with Messenger
Before we look at how messenger is affecting businesses it important for your business to first understand what all it can do. Here is a basic list, and bear in mind that it is increasing rather quickly and creatively.
- Sending text messages to other Facebook users.
- To make voice and video calls from your phone. One would need to download the Messenger app on the phone to make use of this feature.
- It can also be downloaded to desktop and used conveniently.
- One can send and receive money. All you need to do is send a message, click on the $ sign at the bottom of the screen, add your debit card information and click ‘send’. The receiver in turn will add their own financial information so as to receive the money.
- Users can develop apps that be integrated with Messenger.
- Share your location. If you are meeting friends for lunch you can easily share your location with them on Messenger.
- One of the biggest complaints that users have about any message and notification system is the disturbance that it causes to their schedule. Messenger allows its users to mute notifications. They can choose a time period after which they will receive notifications. They can also opt to turn notifications off until they are ready to receive them.
- If you are uncomfortable about importing contacts, you can easily manage your Messenger account and make changes.
- Everyone has friends that they converse with more often than others. To keep up with such conversations one can simply pin a chat. The Groups feature in Messenger allows users to communicate with more than one person at a time.
- Finally, Messenger can be used by all internet users and not just by Facebook users.
Messenger and Businesses
Most of business and commerce is conversational. After all for the businesses it is all about understanding the demands and needs of the customers and convincing them to buy products and services. On the other hand, the customers want value for their money and to this end they want to know all the features and product details that will help them make a shopping decision. If they are shopping online, like a majority of shoppers are, they want to be kept informed of details regarding shipping and delivery.
In its development of Messenger, Faceboook partnered with two businesses, Everlane, a line of clothing and Zulily, a deals site designed for moms. Messenger was integrated in the Everlane’s checkout process. This allowed customers to receive notifications regarding their purchase and they could also add to their order via Messenger.
It is interesting to note that most customers find that brands tend to lose interest in them once a sale has been completed. This also affects brand loyalty negatively. With Messenger, businesses have the opportunity to connect with their customers before, during and after a sale is made, and to offer them superior service, thus, improving customer loyalty.
The Future of Messenger
Messenger is expected to change the way people use the internet and social media in particular. It is anticipated that in the future Facebook users will be able to ask Messenger questions and will be directed towards relevant answers. It will in essence be ‘the’ app for everything.
Retailers will be able to communicate with their customers on Messenger in real time. People will be able to buy products, make reservations at a restaurant or for an event, share information and of course, chat with their friends. Across the world 1.4 billion people use Facebook to stay connected with the world. Of this number 700 million use Messenger.
Facebook also wants to focus on communication at the workplace and facilitate the same. Facebook’s Work Chat is in its Beta testing phase. Facebook at Work offers businesses a platform where they can collaborate and work in synergy. In other words, Messenger hopes to connect people at a personal as well as professional level.