Facebook announced a user milestone for its Messenger application, as well as a host of new features, mostly aimed at businesses.
Vice president of messaging products David Marcus said in a post Thursday morning that Messenger now has more than 900 million monthly active users, and that more than 1 billion messages are sent each month between Messenger users and businesses or pages.
As for the new features, Marcus said Facebook is beginning the rollout of:
- User names for both users and businesses, enabling other users to connect via a simple URL: m.me/yourusername.
- Messenger Links, which enable users who click on the URLs mentioned above to immediately launch conversations with pages or businesses.
- Messenger Codes, which users can scan with the cameras on their smartphones or tablets to launch threads.
- Messenger Greetings, customizable notes that appear in those threads before messages are exchanged.
The social network offered more details on the new features in a Facebook for Business post:
To make it easier for people to identify and contact the businesses they want to connect with, we’re bringing page user names to the forefront. Each page has a unique user name that can be set and edited. Soon, your user name will show up directly on your page, underneath your page title with an @ symbol before it. Pages that already have a vanity URL (unique URLs such as facebook.com/JaspersMarket) already have user names, because pages’ user names (@JaspersMarket) and vanity URLs are the same.
Pages that do not have a user name set up will see the option to select your user name directly from your page.
Messenger Links use a page’s user name to create a short and memorable link (m.me/username) that, when clicked, opens a conversation with the business in Messenger.
Messenger Codes work in the same way. They’re unique codes that people can scan in Messenger using the camera in their phones to open a thread with your business.
Businesses can use Messenger Links and Messenger Codes in ads, on their website or in any other marketing channel to prompt people to reach out to them directly. Add your user name to the end of the URL: m.me/___ to get your Messenger Link. Messenger Code images are available for download in your page’s inbox.
Messenger Greetings are customizable notes from the business that appear in a new message thread before messages are sent. Businesses can use this text to greet people and set a friendly tone while letting people know what types of messages are expected. Set and edit your greeting in your page’s Message Settings.
Readers: What are your initial thoughts on the new features being rolled out for Facebook Messenger?