Facebook is upping their game for millions of businesses and developers on messenger adding in new lead generation automation options and appointment booking options in-stream.

Here’s what’s been announced to be rolling out from this week.

Lead Generation Flows in Messenger

The biggest element of the update is the launch of Messenger lead generation templates, which Facebook first previewed at its F8 conference in April.

As explained by Facebook:

Lead Generation in Messenger: This week, we will begin rolling out our lead generation in Messenger template, first introduced as a beta during our annual developer conference, F8. This new template within Facebook Ads Manager enables businesses to create automated experiences to help qualify leads within Messenger. Businesses can continue the conversation with prospects directly in Messenger and integrate with existing CRM tools to seamlessly track leads. Since the beta launch earlier this year, businesses like UK-based professional services firm RIFT Tax, have seen meaningful results.

  • Appointment Booking in Messenger: First announced at F8, we have opened a beta with select developers and businesses to accept real-time appointment booking through Messenger. This solution enables businesses to integrate their existing calendar booking software to power booking experiences through Messenger. With this feature, businesses can convert Messenger conversations into in-store traffic, online and phone appointments, and more. The new feature will be rolled out to businesses and developers globally later this year. To be added to the beta waitlist, please click here.
  • Improved Event Reporting: We are making it easier for businesses using Messenger Platform to report and track conversions that take place in Messenger. This feature will be available to businesses later this year.

Updated Policies to Improve The Quality of Conversations Between People and Businesses

In addition to new tools for developers, we are also updating some of our platform policies to help drive more personalized and relevant conversations between people and businesses. These updated policies will take effect on January 15, 2020.

  • Revised Standard Messaging Window: We’re updating our Standard Messaging window to 24 hours. We know that people expect businesses to respond quickly to their messages and – not surprisingly – businesses achieve better outcomes when they respond in a timely manner. This update also aligns with WhatsApp’s messaging window. As always, people will continue to have control over who they want to communicate with on Messenger, including businesses, by using features like Block, Mute or Turn Off Messages. Beyond 24 hours, developers will be able to utilize message tags and sponsored messages to reach their customers (see below).
  • Streamlined Message Tags: We are simplifying message tags, which enable businesses to send personalized, 1:1 messages to people outside of the standard messaging window for four use cases including post-purchase updates, event reminders, account updates, and human agent (closed beta).
  • Sponsored Messages: Businesses who want to send a message to many people, including promotional content, outside the standard messaging window will continue to have the opportunity to use sponsored messages. Sponsored messages are a great way for businesses to send targeted messages to re-engage people who currently have an open chat with the business. Businesses of all sizes, from emerging brands like Blenders Eyewear, to global commerce companies including, QVC, use sponsored messages to nurture customer engagement and drive sales.
  • Subscription Messaging Beta Update: We are limiting access to the Subscription Messaging (beta) to vetted news organizations. 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.

Discovering Businesses on Messenger

We constantly test and learn how to improve Messenger. As a part of our continued commitment to simplify the Messenger experience for people, we will begin to phase out the Discover tab over the next several months. Simply put, we want to make it more seamless for people to reach out to businesses on Messenger in places where they’re already looking to connect. 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.

The four new categories for Messenger tags, which also go into effect from January, are:

  • Confirmed Event – Send the user reminders or updates for an event they have registered for. This tag may be used for upcoming events and events in progress.
  • Post Purchase – Notify the user of an update on a recent purchase.
  • Account Update – Notify the user of a non-recurring change to their application or account.
  • Human-Agent (closed beta) – Allows human agents to respond to user inquiries. Messages can be sent within 7 days after a user message.

I hope this simplifies the tags for you and gives you a clearer guidance within the system.

Phasing Out Discover Tab

“As a part of our continued commitment to simplify the Messenger experience for people, we will begin to phase out the Discover tab over the next several months. Simply put, we want to make it more seamless for people to reach out to businesses on Messenger in places where they’re already looking to connect. 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.”

And there you have it folks… I hope this will be of some use to you and your business. I am sure your all aware that Instagram will quickly follow suit.

If there is anything, I can do to help you out on these new updates to get them in place feel free to message me or make an appointment here.