Today, Facebook officially launches a new suite of tools for its 40 million active businesses on Messenger, including making appointments, lead generation and others announced earlier this year at the F8 Developer Conference. As part of these changes, Facebook will also begin removing the Discover tab from Messenger, a feature that has become the home of games and businesses after the redesign last fall.
Today, Facebook states that the Discover tab will be removed from the Messenger application over the next few months. Instead, it will invest to ensure that Facebook users are invited to interact with businesses via Messenger in different ways.
"We want to make more transparent the possibility for people to contact companies on Messenger in places where they are already trying to connect," says Facebook, its decision to remove the feature Discover. "We will be investing more in tools to connect individuals and businesses, including m.me link updates, web plugins, various entry points into our application family, and advertising products – which lead to Messenger, "says the company.
In terms of its new business tools, the lead generation product will be launched this week as a Messenger template in Facebook Ads Manager. The model allows companies to create automated experiences to qualify their prospects in Messenger, then continue conversations in the application or integrate them into existing CRM tools to further follow leads. .
The feature was in beta after the F8 release, but will now be publicly available.
Appointment booking has also been announced at F8, but it's just starting in beta with developers and select companies. This feature allows businesses to accept appointment requests and make real time bookings via Messenger. It also integrates with existing calendar booking software and can help Messenger conversations turn into in-store traffic, as well as online and phone appointments, the company says.
The feature will be launched globally to all developers later in the year.
Another update mentioned today is the launch of improved event reporting in Messenger later this year, which will allow companies to report and track their Messenger conversations.
In addition, Facebook claims to update the standard email window for businesses after 24 hours (which is the time they have to respond to customer requests.) This corresponds to the WhatsApp window.
After 24 hours, companies can still use sponsored messages to re-engage customers and message tags (purchase updates, event reminders, account changes, and now in closed beta) , "human agent", which allows agents to answer problems to resolve after closing the standard mail window).
Messenger's Subscription Messaging beta program is also evolving today.
It will now be restricted to "controlled press organizations". This is due to the fact that some companies were using this feature in violation of Facebook's guidelines, admitted the company. This feature is designed to send regular updates to subscribers. The timing of this change is somewhat interesting, as Facebook prepares to relaunch its efforts to present key information on its social network, this time validated by reporters and presenting content profitable for Facebook. There is a margin of interoperability between the news product and the subscriptions / updates, but it is unclear if this will happen or how.
Of course, the biggest news of Messenger for consumers of F8 – a desktop application for Mac and PC – has not yet been adopted, but should be adopted this year.