From it’s humble origins as a place for college students, Facebook has grown into an advertising juggernaut that touches the lives of almost every online consumer. Facebook has made headlines with the popularity of its desktop and mobile app and the company is hoping to bring that level of success to their Messenger app. This week, Facebook announced several new and upcoming feature for its Messenger app to make it easier for business owners to communicate with customers and generate revenue.
This has been a big week for Facebook Messenger. So much so, it would almost be impossible to go through all of the changes. It’s worth it to look at the most recent change log for the Messenger app to see to what all has changed. In this article, we will cover some of the big changes that can help business owners the most.
The biggest news is that business owners can now monetize their Messenger by accepting payments.
“We’ve made it easy for you to take payments from people,” Facebook explains on a newly setup page. “There are two options, both of which are integrated with Messenger and allow you to obtain user, shipping and payment information needed to complete a purchase. These methods allow you to leverage information stored in Messenger and make it easier for people to make payments.”
Business owners need to perform several steps to get payments authorized for their Facebook Messenger accounts. As the process is currently set up, go to the business page settings and t set the payment privacy URL so Facebook can display it in their payment dialogs so that people can view the payment terms for that particular page.
Second, the business may need to set a payment public key which will be used to encrypt sensitive data sent to the business. This is required for payments initiated from the web view. But when using the Buy Button and Stripe/Paypal options, the payment public key is optional.
The Buy Button opens a checkout dialog when clicked, allowing a person to select their information stored in Messenger. When the Pay button is tapped, the credentials are sent to the business’s webhoook, completing the transaction. As a way to build trust in the new system, business owners can let customers know that the entire buying experience happens in Messenger, making it quick and secure.
Businesses that want to use the new payment features for Messenger will have to wait a little longer before the feature is available for everyone. However, the program is open to business owners who willing to join the beta as Facebook works out the bugs and kinks.
Facebook is also adding Quick Replies to Messenger that will make it easier for business owners to setup preset replies for common questions. These would be in the form of buttons for the user to save time when potential customers are replying to the business.
To illustrate, a T-shirt vendor could set up a quick reply where they ask the person their shirt size, then give them buttons to choose from with the available options. Similarly, a button for sharing the location of the device can be used to save the user the time of entering their address when asked for a location.
With all these changes to Messenger, it makes sense for some advertisers to point potential customers to their business’s Messenger account than to a link on their website or the general Facebook page. To help with this, Facebook is introducing a new feature that will let advertisers use a link to their Messenger as an entry point for ads.
According to Facebook, “Messenger Destination Ads are slowly rolling out and may not be available for you right away.” Business owners who want to try this new feature can learn more about the setup, guidelines and potential uses from Facebook.
So there is a lot of interesting stuff happening on Facebook Messenger and it’s something small business owners can use to monetize their social media accounts. Keep in mind, Messenger is like a live chat, so if a business wants to use this tactic, they will need someone available to monitor the Messenger and the authority to respond immediately to inquiries.
For more news about social media marketing, read this article on Facebook’s battle against ad blockers.