At the beginning of May, Facebook announced at its yearly F8 conference that it would make some improvements to Messenger. The new features focus on privacy as well as enhancing connections between friends. We have taken a look at some of the new features that are coming to the messenger platform.
Although messenger is already available on a desktop device, the new desktop app will give users “more space to share and connect with the people they care about most”. The app will also allow users to collaborate on projects and have group video calls.
A faster and lighter app
Facebook is redesigning its messenger app to be faster and to take up less storage. The new project, named “LightSpeed”, has been completely rebuilt. The redesigned app will launch in under two seconds and be less than 30mb – 70mb less than the old version. Users today have a need for fast loading and Facebook will be hoping their new optimised app will provide this. A faster and smaller app could see an increase in users who do not have much storage space on their device. This means a larger audience for businesses to target with messenger ads and bots.
Close friends and family
A feature which is in early development is yet to be named. However, the focus will be on a space for users to easily find content from friends and family without others being able to see or it be used against them in the future.
What hasn’t been announced yet is if businesses will be able to take advantage by being included in the groups or being able to create them. This would allow them to communicate directly with different audience segments. Being able to post in targeted groups can allow businesses to tailor content to them as well as knowing the posts are reaching them which is becoming increasingly difficult with organic reach for Facebook Pages.
Improved Group Video
“410 million people connect over video chat on Messenger each month and people are spending 2 billion minutes per day on our video products.” This is why Facebook is looking to make it easier and better for users to watch video on Messenger.
Last July, Watch Parties was introduced so that users could watch and comment on videos together. On average, they gained 8x more comments than regular videos. Building on Watch Parties, Facebook will allow users to watch Facebook video content in Messenger chat groups.
One way businesses can take advantage of this is with webinars. They will be able to stream their desktop or video content. Six people will be able to be added to a messenger group video chat, however, an extra 50 people will be able to join the chat. They won’t be able to chat but they will be able to take in the content. Users may also feel more comfortable logging into a platform they are more comfortable with as well, therefore increasing the number of sign-ups.
Lead Ads Templates
Facebook is making it easier for businesses to connect with potential customers with lead generation templates in Ads Manager. This will allow them to create ads that send users to Messenger to complete a simple Q&A to learn more about their customers. Customers will then be able to easily book an appointment through the conversation without the advertiser having to do anything.
Although Facebook is introducing a number of templates, it is not a chatbot. This means that it may struggle with open-ended responses. However, passing the leads onto the business for a human to respond to can easily fix this.
Consumers are increasingly looking for omnichannel experiences which makes it easier for them. Sending users from the Facebook feed to Messenger chat and allowing them to book an appointment gives them this experience.