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article imageFacebook launches new Messenger business chat tools

By James Walker     Feb 27, 2018 in Technology
Facebook has updated Messenger with a set of new features that provide more options to businesses. The company's promising deeper and more meaningful engagements between businesses and customers, positioning Messenger as a customer support chat service.
Messenger chat plugins
Announced on Facebook's developer blog today, Messenger Platform 2.3 seeks to make customer interactions "easier." Over the past couple of years, Facebook's stepped up its efforts to make Messenger a natural location to communicate with businesses. It's now improving the utility of the platform by adding several features that have been requested by current business users.
Last year, Facebook launched a Messenger chat plugin that allows businesses to add Messenger to their own website. The company’s now improving on the feature by giving companies ways to customise the appearance of the Messenger popup. They can also change the default greeting text that's appeared when you open the chat box, offering a more personalised experience that better reflects the company's own brand.
Facebook's streamlined the plugin setup too. It's launching a new integration tool which generates website code snippets "within minutes." Companies looking to offer a live chat experience on their website can now use Messenger, without having to develop any changes themselves. Facebook's expanded the Messenger plugin's browser support to include Internet Explorer, making the chat windows accessible to many more users.
"Intuitive" features
Facebook's also simplifying common sources of friction when communicating with a business. A new contact info "quick reply" feature makes it easier to share contact info. If a business needs to know your personal details, you'll be prompted to supply them using a new button in the chat thread.
Pressing the button will automatically send a new message with your email address and phone number. If you've got multiple contact methods linked to your Facebook profile, you'll be prompted to select the one you want to share.
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Further improvements to the Messenger Platform include expanded analytical views for businesses, new message tags and updates to supporting Messenger APIs. According to Facebook, the changes are meant to let people connect with businesses in an "enjoyable" way. By automating tedious elements such as sharing contact details, Facebook aims to let businesses and customers save time by focusing on the real problem.
"We’re excited to announce the launch of Messenger Platform 2.3, which provides new tools to make customer interactions more seamless," said Facebook. "As businesses continue to unlock the power of the Messenger Platform, we’re working hard to offer features that both make Messenger more impactful for businesses and also make it easier for people to connect with them in a way that is intuitive and enjoyable."
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