In a nutshell: Facebook announced major updates to the Messenger platform to drive more valuable conversations between businesses and people. Here’s what you need to know.

Facebook's Messenger update adds new business solutions and improves user experiences.

Facebook Messenger has seen explosive growth over the last few years. Facebook itself has made it very clear that the future of the social network will be built around private messaging.

As more and more messages are exchanged between people and businesses on Messenger, Facebook is focused on two things.

  1. Expanding the scope of business solutions in Messenger to drive value for brands.
  2. Improving the quality of conversations between businesses and people to foster great user experiences.

How Facebook plans to achieve this was made public today. Here’s what you need to know.

New solutions to drive value for business.

We’re always excited at the business opportunities that new Messenger solutions offer our customers and we’re proud to have been part of the announcement. Facebook issued three major release updates today to support marketers and small businesses. 

1. Lead Generation

Conversations are the best way to qualify leads. That’s why new templates are coming to the Facebook Ads Manager for lead generation. The templates will enable brands to automate lead qualification and seamlessly integrate their CRMs.

2. Appointment Booking

Businesses can soon integrate their calendar booking software to convert people in conversations to store visits and online appointments.

3. Event Reporting

It’s getting easier to track and report conversions in Messenger to optimize conversation design.

“Strategic developer partners, like Spectrm… have shown that businesses can build long-lasting relationships with people through Messenger that drive real business results.”

tedHelwick facebook messenger
Ted Helwick
Director of Product
Facebook Messenger Business

These feature releases are already available to select customers but will be globally available later this year. The news also comes with the announcement that the Messenger Discovery tab is being removed in favor of improvements to conversation entrypoints and the website chat plugin. All part of a push to improve user experiences on Messenger.

Major policy updates to improve Messenger experiences.

The results our customers achieve are a clear indicator that improving conversation quality in Messenger results in faster conversions and better user experiences. Facebook announced four major policy updates to support this. They take effect on January 15, 2020 but marketers should already start adapting their Messenger strategy accordingly.

1. New Limits on the Standard Messaging Window

Facebook is ending its 24+1 sending policy and restricting the standard messaging window to 24 hours. This is a big step towards ending abuse from pages that send too many irrelevant messages. It shows Facebook is serious about limiting messaging fatigue on Messenger. Message tags and sponsored messages will be the only way for brands to reach customers beyond the 24 hour window.

2. Streamlined Message Tags

Message tags allow brands to contact customers outside the 24 hour standard messaging window in certain cases. The streamlined tags will now power four use cases: post-purchase updates, event reminders, account updates and contact by human agent. 

3. Sponsored Messages

Sponsored messages let brands contact customers outside the 24 hour window if they have an existing conversation with them in Messenger. Personalized re-engagement messages have been very effective on Messenger for years. That’s why we built retargeting and segmentation into our conversational marketing platform. With 24+1 ending, sponsored messaging will be increasingly important to any Messenger marketing strategy.

4. Subscription Messaging

Subscription messaging is being limited to vetted news organizations. Yet another example of Facebook clamping down on abuse from some brands to avoid messaging fatigue and improve user experiences on Messenger. News organizations need to register here or contact us to continue sending subscription messages.

Facebook's updates put conversation quality and business solutions at the core of Messenger's future.

Offering great customer experience and the right tools to drive business value are what makes Messenger such an effective marketing channel. 

Many bot platforms are worried about Facebook’s upcoming updates to subscription messaging and the 24+1 sending policy in particular. We’re excited at Spectrm because they reflect our core belief that great conversations drive more conversions.

Facebook praised Spectrm’s proven track record for driving business results in the announcement and ended it with a quote from Max, our CEO. We’re happy to end on the same note.

“As a long-standing Messenger partner, we value the team’s commitment to creating delightful user experiences for people and businesses. Nearly all of our clients are using Messenger to grow their business and have seen great success. Clients have told us that their sales conversions have increased by two-times on Messenger. We firmly believe that Messenger’s platform updates will only enable businesses to build long-lasting relationships with people while driving further growth.”

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