Facebook recently announced several new updates to its Messenger app, building out Messenger’s features for brands and users. Over the last several years, Facebook has been chatting up its Messenger app as a growing opportunity for brand engagement with consumers and better communication between Facebook users and brands, with the latest updates furthering those goals. As of April 2021, Facebook Messenger had 1.3 billion monthly active users.
What Updates Did Facebook Add To Messenger?
Facebook announced three new updates to its Messenger app, including:
New Chat Themes In Facebook Messenger
While chat themes on Messenger aren’t new, Facebook introduced three new ones, aligning with current user interests: Olivia Rodrigo, World Oceans Day and F9: The Fast Saga. The new Facebook Messenger chat themes allow users to share themed stickers and download fun backgrounds. The chat themes provide additional promotional elements for brands and campaigns.
New Quick Reply Bar in Facebook Messenger
The new quick reply bar in Facebook Messenger allows users to reply to pictures and images while in media view. When users click on photos or videos, instead of clicking in and out of the main chat, they can comment directly on the selected media. Jette-Mari Anni for Social Media Today speculated that this more seamless commenting could increase engagement. Video, in particular, is growing in popularity for brands, so more streamlined video engagement opportunities could be beneficial for advertisers that want to leverage Facebook Messenger for campaigns.
New QR Codes And Payment Links In Facebook Messenger
Facebook added QR codes and payment links to Facebook Pay, making it easy to send or request money. Facebook explained, “To access your personal QR code and payment link, visit your Messenger settings and tap ‘Facebook Pay.’ Simply share the payment link or allow your friends to scan your QR code to send or request money.”
There is no need to download a third-party app or be friends with the payee or payer to use the new Facebook Pay features. Seamless payment options have exploded in popularity in recent years, and many consumers are likely to appreciate the ability to use Facebook Pay without the need for another app. This efficiency could give Facebook the edge over standalone payment services, particularly with their existing users.
What Benefits Do The Updates To Facebook Messenger Offer Advertisers?
Anni noted that, while none of the Facebook Messenger updates are necessarily game changers, they are part of Facebook’s broader interest in making Messenger a “more useful application, in more ways, and with the capacity to make payments in-stream, that could help the company add in more business transaction tools and other processes to improve [Messenger’s] utility.” The Facebook Messenger changes could be most beneficial for “promotions and transactions,” with advertisers exploring the new features to boost engagement and ecommerce sales while aligning with their broader social media campaigns, particularly as social commerce and in-app payment systems become more commonplace.
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