Facebook has introduced three new features for Messenger designed to help brands communicate with their customers on the platform: “icebreakers” for business profiles, updates to Click to Messenger ads, and more options for users replying to messages from a business.
Icebreakers for commonly asked questions. Facebook is also rolling out “icebreaker” questions that businesses can add to their Messenger profile via the API. The feature offers users the option to click on a common FAQ — like “What are your hours today?” or “Where is your store located?” — to receive an automated response.
“Icebreakers help businesses reduce friction in starting a conversation by surfacing common questions or topics of interest,” writes Facebook on its Developer blog.
Click to Messenger ad update. For businesses that already have multiple Facebook apps connected to the Messenger platform, the company is making it easy to select which app they want to use for their Click to Messenger ads (an ad that runs in the Facebook or Instagram News Feed, but opens a chat in Messenger when a user clicks on it).
The company didn’t give explicit details on how brands can select the apps they want to be connected to their Click to Messenger ads, but said the “first phase” of the solution is now available, with additional improvements to be announced in the coming weeks.
More reply options for users. The third feature from Facebook Messenger are reactions and message replies that users can take advantage of during conversations with a business on the platform. The reactions allow users to use emojis to react to a response from a business. The message replies allow for threaded conversations so that businesses can see which exact message a user is responding to. “This adds more clarity to the conversations and helps businesses respond to inquiries better,” writes Facebook.
Why we should care. Consumers say they want more businesses to be available via messaging platforms. A recent survey of more than 11,000 people ages 18 to 24-years-old, conducted by Facebook, found that 60% wished they could message more businesses. These latest updates from Facebook do just that — helping create more opportunities for brands to communicate directly with users.
As social platforms — and social usage patterns — trend to a more personalized, messaging experience, brands adept at one-on-one communication with consumers will have an advantage over the competition and a better chance at attracting a loyal following.