Following the conclusion of the Facebook F8 Conference in 2019, it’s an opportune moment to apprise you of the impact Facebook’s strategies will have on business messaging. The central theme of this conference was the transition from an open social media platform to a privacy-centric social network centered around messaging. Let’s delve into the announcements that will influence businesses engaged in messenger marketing and chat support.
There are five significant declarations set to reshape business messaging. Here are the foremost 5 Facebook F8 declarations pertaining to messenger marketing and support:
1. Swifter, Sleeker Facebook Messenger App with Project LightSpeed
Mark Zuckerberg addressed a significant challenge with Messenger. WhatsApp’s widespread usage is partly attributed to its compatibility with virtually any device, even those of lower specifications. This is particularly true in developing regions. Facebook even introduced a separate app, Facebook Lite, for emerging markets.
Project LightSpeed App Size Projections
Project LightSpeed, as Facebook terms it, aims to trim the app’s size to under 30MB, ensuring that it launches within a mere 1.3 seconds. The real-world implications of this endeavor remain uncertain. Initially, the focus is on iOS, where Messenger’s speed has seldom been a concern. Nevertheless, Mark pledged that Facebook Messenger would outpace WhatsApp in terms of swiftness. Achieving this on low-end Android devices would indeed be a commendable feat. Project LightSpeed is presently in early internal testing and is slated for a public release in the coming months.
Project LightSpeed Launch Speed Projections
For businesses, this development could potentially lure more users towards the Messenger platform, which is arguably the most business-friendly messaging application available today. Additionally, the hope is that the Messenger Lite app will be phased out, as it lacks support for essential chat features like quick replies and carousels. This presents challenges for customers aiming to build effective chat automation for messenger marketing and chat support, particularly in regions like Africa where Facebook Lite is widely used.
2. Integration of Messenger, WhatsApp, and Insta DM
While it was already known that Facebook planned to unify the underlying infrastructure of Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram for end-to-end encrypted messaging, a new revelation pertains to user integration.
Although Mark Zuckerberg didn’t mention it in his keynote address, Asha Sharma provided a sneak peek and a concise description of what’s in store. Initially, this means that Messenger app users will be able to converse with any WhatsApp user and respond to Instagram DMs. However, this announcement could have far-reaching implications for business communication. Companies solely on WhatsApp Business or Instagram would have access to a substantially larger audience for interaction.
Asha Sharma Announcing App Interoperability
What we’re especially excited about is the potential for Facebook Inbox to manage messages from Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram collectively. This would be a significant boon for small businesses, eliminating the need to use separate platforms to respond to messages across these services.
3. Progress with WhatsApp Business Catalog & Payments
Progress in WhatsApp’s business features continues at its own pace. For the first time in about a year, a new addition was introduced: WhatsApp Business Catalog.
WhatsApp Business Catalog
This catalog will be featured on the WhatsApp Business Profile page, allowing users to browse a business’s products. Facebook showcased a cupcake maker in Brazil as an example. Anticipate this feature rolling out for the WhatsApp Business App later this year. Additionally, WhatsApp payments are in the pipeline for expansion beyond India, though specific markets weren’t disclosed. Our hunch is Brazil might be one of them.
For businesses, this step-by-step approach to monetizing WhatsApp, from the Business App to Business API and now payments, presents a clear trajectory. The introduction of WhatsApp Business Catalog is a precursor to the final step in the conversion funnel: payments.
4. Transition from Messenger People Tab to Friends Tab
On the surface, this may not seem directly related to business messaging. However, for those familiar with our Ultimate Guide to Messaging Apps, it’s evident that this change holds significance.
The People Tab Will Become Friends
Facebook’s endeavor is to create a dedicated space in Messenger for close friends, those you engage with frequently. This will occupy an entire tab, supplanting the current People tab. One of the most exciting features introduced is the ability to collectively view videos in a messenger group while simultaneously discussing them.
The Friends Tab Will Let You Watch Videos With Friends
For businesses, this signifies a shift in emphasis, pushing friends to the forefront and placing companies in the background. The exact implications on other parts of the app remain to be seen. It’s anticipated that business chats and acquaintances may find their place in the Chat tab, potentially receiving less user engagement compared to the Friends tab, which is likely to take precedence in terms of notifications and interaction.
5. Introduction of a Desktop App for Messenger
Finally, Facebook is following in the footsteps of WhatsApp and Viber by offering native desktop applications. While not a revolutionary change, it’s a convenience for those who prefer not to clutter their tabs with messaging apps.
Facebook Messenger Desktop App
These desktop clients are set to launch this autumn, available on both Windows and MacOS, and will mirror the functionality of the Facebook Messenger app for Android and iOS.
For businesses, this seemingly minor update could lead to improved response times from customers. Individuals who spend extended periods at their computers, with their phones nearby, may be more inclined to respond promptly if they have a desktop app at their disposal.
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