Facebook revealed a series of new tools and policy updates for Messenger, aimed at improving the experience of businesses and developers (and therefore users) on the platform.
First, at Facebook’s F8 2019 in May, the social network revealed it would be adding a lead-generation template to Ads Manager. The template will begin rolling out this week, giving businesses the ability to create an ad that leads users to an automated question and answer conversation within Messenger.
Next, Messenger provided an update on its appointment booking feature, which was also discussed at F8 2019. The feature is currently in beta, with Ted Helwick, director of product management for Messenger Business, saying in an announcement that it will roll out to businesses and developers around the world later in 2019.
Finally, Helwick said Messenger will make it easier for businesses on Messenger to “report and track conversions that take place on Messenger” via “improved event reporting,” with this feature launching for businesses later this year.
In terms of policy updates, Facebook revealed three that will take effect on January 15, 2020.
First, Messenger will update its “standard messaging window” to 24 hours. After this time, companies will be able to reach consumers through message tags and sponsored messages.
Message tags will also be simplified, allowing businesses to send one-on-one messages to users that don’t fall within the standard messaging window for four different use cases: post-purchase updates, event reminders, account updates, and human agent (which is in closed beta).
Messenger will also limit access to Subscription Messaging to “vetted news organizations.” Helwick said, “Some businesses were using the subscription messaging beta in ways that weren’t in line with our policy, resulting in less effective conversations between people and businesses. News organizations who successfully register their Pages through the Facebook News Page index can apply to be a part of the subscription messaging beta.”
One final update to Messenger will see the Discover tab removed “over the next several months.” Helwick commented, “We will put more investment into tools to connect people and businesses – including updates to m.me links, web plugins, various entry points across our family of apps, as well as ad products that lead to Messenger. Businesses will continue to appear in the app through the search feature and advertising surfaces, making it easy for people to connect with them.”